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Oxidized sterling silver
MFA# 2006.635


1) A reaction in which a material combines chemically with oxygen to form an oxide. In an oxidation reaction where electrons are transferred, the oxidized material loses electrons. Oxidation is a degradation process that is usually irreversible. One example of oxidation is when metallic silver on the surface of a photograph reacts with oxygen and becomes invisible, thus degrading the image quality.

2) The deposit formed on the surface of a metal or plastic due to an oxidation reaction.

Synonyms and Related Terms

oxidize; oxidise (Br.); autoxidation

Resources and Citations

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  • The American Heritage Dictionary or Encarta, via Microsoft Bookshelf 98, Microsoft Corp., 1998