Definition - What does Oxidation mean?

Oxidation is the reaction that occurs when a compound or an atom loses one or more than one electron. Few elements, generally metals such as, iron, sodium and magnesium lose electrons easily hence they are easily oxidized. Elements which are reluctant to losing electrons as they tightly hold their electrons are nonmetals such as oxygen, chlorine and nitrogen. These nonmetals are not easily oxidized. When a compound or an atom loses an electron, the properties of the compound or atom change.

Petropedia explains Oxidation

Oxidation is the side which gives electrons in a chemical reaction. Oxidation and reduction comes together when one compound loses an electron and another compound gains an electron. For instance, rust is formed when iron reacts with oxygen whereby oxygen is reduced and iron is oxidized. The unoxidized iron is a strong and structurally sound metal while the oxidized iron is brittle reddish powder. When oxidation and reduction reactions take place together, they are called redox. Elements change their properties on oxidation, e.g., in the reaction where iron and oxygen together form rust the properties of iron change.

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