ex·​ter·​nal·​i·​za·​tion ek-ˌstər-nə-lə-ˈzā-shən How to pronounce externalization (audio)
: the action or process of externalizing
: the quality or state of being externalized
: something externalized : embodiment

Examples of externalization in a Sentence

bizarre paintings that are the externalization of a very troubled psyche
Recent Examples on the Web Lizzy’s landlord, Jo (Hong Chau), constructs enormous, colorful webs, externalizations of her open personality. Doreen St. Félix, The New Yorker, 22 June 2023 But Europe’s externalization policies haven’t worked. Laura Blasey, Los Angeles Times, 4 June 2023 The externalization of their depressive symptoms leads to some dark places as a result of Amy and Danny’s ongoing beef: Amy’s young daughter, June (Remy Holt), is placed in danger several times, Danny’s brother Paul (Young Mazino) almost dies, and Jordan is killed. Erin Qualey, Los Angeles Times, 10 Apr. 2023 Not quite, but soca music demands externalization. Victoria Brown, Harper's BAZAAR, 19 Feb. 2021 Montage of Heck is a very linear biography with one trick, which is Kurt’s externalization of his interior life, in essence presented through his artwork. Vulture, 15 Sep. 2022 To those who view many of Mexico’s migration policies as an externalization of the U.S. border, the program appears to be just another way that Mexico is helping the United States avoid its legal obligation to screen asylum seekers’ refugee claims. San Diego Union-Tribune, 12 Nov. 2022 There’s a hunger for entertainment that favors unflinching articulation and externalization over implication and internalization — to have our greatest fears verbalized without restraint, even heavy-handedly, along with a good deal of style and wit. Maya Salam, New York Times, 23 Jan. 2022 In a liberated future, the world of objects can be an externalization of our own consciousness Sam Kriss, The Atlantic, 13 Oct. 2017

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

Word History

First Known Use

1803, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of externalization was in 1803

Dictionary Entries Near externalization

Cite this Entry

“Externalization.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/externalization. Accessed 20 Apr. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on externalization

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!