ex·​ot·​i·​cize ig-ˈzä-tə-ˌsīz How to pronounce exoticize (audio)
exoticized; exoticizing; exoticizes

transitive verb

: to portray or regard (someone or something) as exotic (see exotic entry 1 sense 2)
Foreign audiences often tend to exoticize various Slavic cultures, having relatively little access to our literatures and history.Teo Bileta
As may be expected from an American cookbook from 1925, this book depicts people of color one-dimensionally and seems to romanticize and exoticize Middle Eastern culture and foods.Kate Collins
[CNN's Lisa] Ling was asked to comment about the "disturbing" way Asian women are stereotyped in America. "Asian women have been fetishized and exoticized for generations," she explained.Lindsey Ellefson
Many documentary photographic projects that deal with trans issues exploit the genders of their subjects, pointing to an "otherness" or inappropriately exoticizing their bodies.L. Weingarten
The press has long had a tendency to exoticize the gay community.K. Boo
exoticized adjective
New Age interest in Native American cultures appears more concerned with exoticized images and romanticized rituals revolving around a distorted view of Native American spirituality than with the indigenous peoples themselves and the very real (and often ugly) socioeconomic and political problems they face as colonized peoples. Karen B. Graubart
exoticizing noun
Attending the event, however, left me frustrated with the presenter's misrepresentations of Chinese American history and the consistent othering and exoticizing of Chinese people. Kimberly Rooney
exoticizing adjective
The weakness of these films is that so far, they have required outsiders to tell the stories of people in these communities, often layering a romantic or exoticizing gaze onto the narrative. Rokhl Kafrissen

Examples of exoticize in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web This includes a reevaluation of the nature of the objects (such as those that exoticize Asian cultures), as well as their provenance. Los Angeles Times, 5 June 2021 There’s a history of being exoticized, fetishized and sexualized, but through a white male point of view. Jazz Tangcay, Variety, 17 Mar. 2023 The series has gotten far better at not exoticizing foods from non-white cultures and developed a greater respect for them. Kelly Lawler, USA TODAY, 9 Mar. 2023 Also, the work of reindeer herders is not ‘primitive,’ although some like to exoticize it. Marta Balaga, Variety, 25 Sep. 2022 Together, Bolognesi and the Yanomami have crafted a film that reveals their largely unseen world while refusing to exoticize the indigenous group. Kimber Myers, Los Angeles Times, 3 Nov. 2021 Despite her efforts to steer conversations toward the struggles facing the poor, reporters, show promoters and colleagues continued to sexualize and exoticize her. New York Times, 27 May 2021 Has Western media played up the soup’s funk in yet another sorry attempt to exoticize a foreign dish? Washington Post, 8 Mar. 2021 Among other things, The Infinite Race seeks to de-exoticize its subject. Martin Fritz Huber, Outside Online, 8 Dec. 2020

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'exoticize.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


exotic entry 1 + -ize

First Known Use

1969, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of exoticize was in 1969

Dictionary Entries Near exoticize

Cite this Entry

“Exoticize.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/exoticize. Accessed 12 Apr. 2024.

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