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noun, plural: oxidants

(1) Any substance that has the ability to oxidize other substance.

(2) A molecule or atom capable of accepting electrons during a redox reaction.


An oxidant is a substance that accepts or receives electron from another substance, hence, is consequently reduced. Since it accepts electrons it is also called an electron acceptor.

Oxidants produced by phagocytes as observed in vivo act as tumor promoters or co-carcinogens rather than as complete carcinogens maybe because of the high levels of endogenous antioxidant defenses. They may also be involved in the oxidative damage in joints as they can cause an autoimmune response.

Also called: oxidizing agent, oxidizer.

See also: redox reaction.