ide·​al·​ize | \ ī-ˈdē-(ə-)ˌlīz How to pronounce idealize (audio) \
idealized; idealizing

Definition of idealize

transitive verb

1a : to attribute ideal characteristics to tended to idealize her teachers
b : to give an ideal form or value to
2 : to treat idealistically portraitists who idealize their subjects

intransitive verb

1 : to form ideals
2 : to work idealistically

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Other Words from idealize

idealization \ ī-​ˌdē-​(ə-​)lə-​ˈzā-​shən How to pronounce idealize (audio) \ noun
idealizer \ ī-​ˈdē-​(ə-​)ˌlī-​zər How to pronounce idealize (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for idealize



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Examples of idealize in a Sentence

She tends to idealize her job. he had a tendency to idealize his heroes and believe they could do no wrong
Recent Examples on the Web Procrastinators often idealize their future selves, just like Eoin did. Eoin O'carroll, The Christian Science Monitor, "The key to stopping procrastination? Compassion.," 12 Apr. 2021 Americans often idealize scientists as unbiased, objective observers. Popular Science, "Few people knew female birds had unique songs—until women started studying them," 28 Sep. 2020 Make no mistake, Ray said: the goal is to not to idealize Comey. Washington Post, "‘The Comey Rule’ might make you angry. The people who made it hope it serves as a lesson.," 25 Sep. 2020 In a culture that idealizes maternal self-sacrifice, remember that self-care is not selfish. New York Times, "Is That Mom in the Mirror Really Me?," 16 Apr. 2020 For centuries, Raphael’s art was idealized as the epitome of perfection, inspiring generations of artists, and the 120 autograph works on display — a mix of paintings and drawings — cement that reputation. Elisabetta Povoledo, New York Times, "Rome Celebrates the Short, but Beautiful, Life of Raphael," 6 Mar. 2020 The softness, grace, and modesty idealized in the diminutive figures, their robes, drapery, head coverings, and hairstyles contrasted with the austere depiction of male figures: classical Greek gods, statesmen and soldiers. National Geographic, "These lovely little statues enchanted ancient Greece," 29 Jan. 2020 Her capacity to understand intellectuals in the context of cohesive, competitive communities of thinkers and writers allowed her to avoid both idealizing her subjects and cynically dismissing them. Yuval Levin, National Review, "The Historian as Moralist," 31 Dec. 2019 Most of them marry, and love their wives sincerely, but since their sociology idealizes women and their mythology excludes them, the impasse that results is often little short of tragic. Larry Mcmurtry, Harper's magazine, "American Cowboys," 28 Oct. 2019

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

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First Known Use of idealize

1786, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

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Time Traveler for idealize

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The first known use of idealize was in 1786

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Statistics for idealize

Last Updated

22 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Idealize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for idealize



English Language Learners Definition of idealize

: to think of or represent (someone or something) as being perfect


transitive verb
variants: or chiefly British idealise \ ī-​ˈdē-​(ə-​)ˌlīz How to pronounce idealize (audio) \
idealized or chiefly British idealised; idealizing or chiefly British idealising

Medical Definition of idealize

: to give ideal form or value to : attribute ideal characteristics of excellence to constantly shifting moods and a tendency to idealize or devalue other peopleHarvard Mental Health Letter

Other Words from idealize

idealization or chiefly British idealisation \ ī-​ˌdē-​(ə-​)lə-​ˈzā-​shən How to pronounce idealize (audio) \ noun

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Nglish: Translation of idealize for Spanish Speakers

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