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 idealization (audio) \ noun
idealizer \ ī-​ˈdē-​(ə-​)ˌlī-​zər How to pronounce idealizer (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 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 Aciman’s characters idealize a state of attunement. Katy Waldman, The New Yorker, "“Find Me” Is a Shallow Sequel to “Call Me By Your Name”," 21 Oct. 2019 Then stop idealizing a person who didn’t value your relationship enough to consider relocating with you. Abigail Van Buren, oregonlive, "Dear Abby: Woman can’t move on from hometown first love," 31 Aug. 2019 Even though readers tend to idealize these settings, Ames made sure to incorporate the highs and the lows into The Other’s Gold. Seija Rankin,, "How Elizabeth Ames wrote The Other's Gold, your new favorite campus novel," 27 Aug. 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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Cite this Entry

“Idealize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Aug. 2020.

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How to pronounce idealize (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of idealize

: to think of or represent (someone or something) as being perfect
variants: or chiefly British idealise \ ī-​ˈdē-​(ə-​)ˌlīz How to pronounce idealise (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 idealisation (audio) \ noun

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Spanish Central: Translation of idealize

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