civilize

verb civ·i·lize \ ˈsi-və-ˌlīz \

Definition of civilize

civilized; civilizing
transitive verb
1 :to cause to develop out of a primitive state; especially :to bring to a technically advanced and rationally ordered stage of cultural development
2 a :educate, refine
b :socialize 1
intransitive verb
:to acquire the customs and amenities of a civil community

civilizer

noun

Examples of civilize in a Sentence

  1. Her parents hoped that boarding school might civilize her some.

  2. a teacher who had a civilizing influence on the students

  3. He is credited with civilizing the treatment of people with mental illnesses.

  4. efforts to civilize the health-care system

  5. They believed it was their duty to civilize the native people.

Recent Examples of civilize from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'civilize.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of civilize

1595



CIVILIZE Defined for English Language Learners

civilize

verb

Definition of civilize for English Language Learners

  • : to teach (a person or group of people) to behave in a way that you think is more polite and gentle

  • : to make (something) more gentle, fair, reasonable, etc.

  • : to cause (a group of people) to have a more highly organized and modern way of living


CIVILIZE Defined for Kids

civilize

verb civ·i·lize \ ˈsi-və-ˌlīz \

Definition of civilize for Students

civilized; civilizing
:to cause to have a more advanced or modern way of living


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