1836 (implied in sanitizing, and treating it as a new word), from stem of sanitary + -ize. The figurative use for "render more acceptable by removing objectionable elements" is by 1934, said to be a word from Roosevelt's N.R.A. Related: Sanitized. Also in use was sanify "make healthy, improve in sanitary condition" (1836).
updated on December 20, 2021
Dictionary entries near sanitize