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

transitive verb

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

intransitive verb

: to form ideals
: to work idealistically

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 Climate became integral to California’s and Florida’s growing reputation as idealized U.S. destinations. Smithsonian Magazine, 13 Sep. 2023 The notion of home that immigrants have left behind becomes a romanticized and idealized one, Dhandwar says. Naman Ramachandran, Variety, 9 Sep. 2023 That’s certainly one interpretation of how content moderation could work; a view of the internet, perhaps, as frictionless and idealized as 3D avatars. Lauren Goode, WIRED, 8 Sep. 2023 But Gottesman’s work was highly idealized and considered essentially infinite swarms of qubits. Charlie Wood, Quanta Magazine, 25 Aug. 2023 Try to stop idealizing someone and understand the reality of the situation to move forward healthily. Dominique Fluker, Essence, 3 Aug. 2023 But nationalist and far-right ideologies have been especially active in this regard due to their tendency to idealize an imagined past. Petar Parvanov, Smithsonian Magazine, 3 July 2023 Barbie lives on the sort of suburban cul de sac idealized in that era. Time, 27 June 2023 In a world that is still struggling to learn that body weight is hardly an accurate indicator of health when taken alone, and is shaped by stereotypical beauty norms that idealize thinness, the idea that losing weight can be as simple as a weekly injection is tantalizing. Annalisa Merelli, Quartz, 29 May 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'idealize.' 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

1786, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of idealize was in 1786

Dictionary Entries Near idealize

Cite this Entry

“Idealize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


ide·​al·​ize ī-ˈdē-(ə-)ˌlīz How to pronounce idealize (audio)
idealized; idealizing
: to think of or represent persons or things as one believes they should be rather than as they are
idealizer noun

Medical Definition


transitive verb
variants or chiefly British idealise
idealized or chiefly British idealised; idealizing or chiefly British idealising
: 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
idealization noun
or chiefly British idealisation

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