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

Definition of idealize

intransitive verb

1 : to form ideals
2 : to work idealistically

transitive verb

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

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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


glamorize (also glamourize), glamour (up), glorify, romanticize



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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

But the temptation to idealize him as a symbol may be too strong. Edward Rothstein, WSJ, "‘Poet of the Body: New York’s Walt Whitman’ Review: An American Bard’s Early Years," 24 June 2019 The smooth hybrid of reggae and rock performed by Sublime with Rome idealizes the mellow Southern California lifestyle. kansascity, "KC concerts June 6-12: Luis Miguel, Billie Eilish, Sublime with Rome, Snarky Puppy," 4 June 2019 Resist the common tendency to idealize the relationship... Willa Bennett, Seventeen, "How Do You Get Over Your Ex?," 8 Sep. 2017 Schumer plays Renee, a woman who hits her head and wakes up with the confidence of a supermodel, and Ratajkowski is Mallory, a model Renee idealizes for her looks. Janet Mock, Marie Claire, "Emily Ratajkowski Is Unapologetically Herself," 10 May 2018 The newer seeds that plant breeders produce, whether open-pollinated or hybrid, are manipulated to thrive, and aren’t idealized in the same way, except by the breeders. Tejal Rao, New York Times, "Seeds Only a Plant Breeder Could Love, Until Now," 27 Feb. 2018 Challenges are far too great to adequately mobilize another farming generation and draw people to the field, which is also ironic when farms are idealized as bucolic and peaceful. Adrian White, Good Housekeeping, "Farm Life Isn't Nearly As Idyllic As It Looks On Instagram—But I Still Wouldn’t Trade It For Anything," 11 Jan. 2018 Both idealized by Lawson (in their physical beauty) and pathologized by the culture (as symbols of violence or fear), they are largely liberated from the kinds of domestic circumstance and context in which Lawson tends to frame her women. Rachel Aviv, The New Yorker, "Deana Lawson’s Kingdom of Restored Glory," 8 Jan. 2018 The article avoids idealizing the victim, who, like the others, had been using drugs before the murder. USA TODAY, "Arizona Republic, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel lead 2017 USA TODAY Network journalism awards," 7 Mar. 2018

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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Dictionary Entries near idealize







ideal point

Statistics for idealize

Last Updated

9 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for idealize

The first known use of idealize was in 1786

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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 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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More from Merriam-Webster on idealize

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for idealize

Spanish Central: Translation of idealize

Nglish: Translation of idealize for Spanish Speakers

Comments on idealize

What made you want to look up idealize? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to complain fretfully

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