# What does oxidizing mean in chemistry?

Feb 6, 2017

It may mean one of two things: (1) reacting with oxygen to form oxides, or (2) getting a higher oxidation state.

#### Explanation:

(1) Example:
$2 C u + {O}_{2} \to 2 C u O$

(2) Example:
$C {u}^{2 +} + 3 {I}^{-} \to C u I + {I}_{2}$,
where part of the ${I}^{-}$ is lifted from level $- 1$ to level $0$
(and the copper is reduced from $+ 2$ to $+ 1$)

Note:
(2) is a more embracing definition, as example (1) is also a lifting of copper from level $0$ to level $+ 2$ (and a reduction of $O$ from level $0$ to $- 2$).

Against every oxidation there is an equivalent reduction .