Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

prioritize

play
verb pri·or·i·tize \prī-ˈȯr-ə-ˌtīz, -ˈär-; ˈprī-ə-rə-\

Simple Definition of prioritize

  • : to organize (things) so that the most important thing is done or dealt with first

  • : to make (something) the most important thing in a group

Full Definition of prioritize

pri·or·i·tizedpri·or·i·tiz·ing

  1. transitive verb
  2. :  to list or rate (as projects or goals) in order of priority

pri·or·i·ti·za·tion play \prī-ˌȯr-ə-tə-ˈzā-shən, -är-; ˌprī-ə-rə-\ noun

Usage Discussion of prioritize

The suffix -ize has been productive in English since the time of Thomas Nashe (1567–1601), who claimed credit for introducing it into English to remedy the surplus of monosyllabic words. Almost any noun or adjective can be made into a verb by adding -ize <hospitalize> <familiarize>; many technical terms are coined this way <oxidize> as well as verbs of ethnic derivation <Americanize> and verbs derived from proper names <bowdlerize> <mesmerize>. Nashe noted in 1591 that his -ize coinages were being criticized, and to this day new words ending in -ize <finalize> <prioritize> are sure to draw critical fire.

Examples of prioritize

  1. It's always difficult to prioritize work, school, and family.

  2. If you want to do your job efficiently, you have to learn to prioritize.

  3. The town council hopes to prioritize the bridge construction project at the next meeting.



1961

First Known Use of prioritize

1961

Rhymes with prioritize

accessorize, acclimatize, actualize, aerobicize, aestheticize, Africanize, allegorize, alphabetize, analogize, anatomize, anesthetize, animalize, annualize, antagonize, anthologize, anticlockwise, apologize, apostatize, apostrophize, arabicize, aromatize, automatize, bureaucratize, cannibalize, capitalize, categorize, catheterize, catholicize, characterize, collectivize, commercialize, commoditize, communalize, computerize, conservatize, containerize, contrariwise, conveyorize, cosmeticize, counterclockwise, criminalize, cross-fertilize, cut down to size, decentralize, decolonize, de-emphasize, de-energize, defeminize, deformalize, deglamorize, dehumanize, deionize, demagnetize, demobilize, democratize, demoralize, denationalize, deodorize, depersonalize, depolarize, depressurize, desensitize, destabilize, destigmatize, detribalize, devitalize, diabolize, digitalize, disenfranchise, disorganize, economize, emblematize, emotionalize, epitomize, epoxidize, eroticize, eternalize, evangelize, extemporize, externalize, familiarize, fanaticize, fictionalize, floor exercise, fool's paradise, formularize, free enterprise, gelatinize, generalize, geologize, Hispanicize, historicize, homogenize, hospitalize, hypothesize, idealize, illegalize, immobilize, immortalize, impersonalize, Indianize, indigenize, infantilize, initialize, internalize, italicize, legitimize, liberalize, literalize, lobotomize, lysogenize, macadamize, marginalize, metabolize, metastasize, militarize, mineralize, monopolize, mythologize, nationalize, naturalize, parenthesize, philosophize, poeticize, politicize, popularize, proselytize, radicalize, reorganize, revitalize, ritualize, romanticize, secularize, self-fertilize, sensualize, sexualize, sovietize, subjectivize, suburbanize, subvocalize, systematize, temporalize, theologize, traditionalize, trivialize, ventriloquize, visualize


Learn More about prioritize


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up prioritize? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

February 10, 2016

to put in good humor

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image1037863653

Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?

duvet pince-nez kittly-benders spindrift
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ