infantilize

verb in·fan·til·ize \ ˈin-fən-ˌtī-ˌlīz , -fən-tə-ˌlīz , in-ˈfan-tə- \

Definition of infantilize

infantilized; infantilizing
transitive verb
1 :to make or keep infantile
2 :to treat as if infantile

infantilization

play \ˌin-fən-ˌtī-lə-ˈzā-shən, -fən-tə-, in-ˌfan-tə-\ noun

infantilize was our Word of the Day on 07/07/2013. Hear the podcast!

Recent Examples of infantilize from the Web

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

Did You Know?

Infantilize is just a baby, relatively speaking, in the English language family. It first saw the light of day in the early 1940s, when social scientists started using it to discuss ways that humans or human activity can prolong or encourage dependency in other humans by treating them as helpless. The adjective "infantile," which gave birth to "infantilize," is far more mature, however - it's over 300 years old. "Infantile" sometimes literally means "relating to infants" - that is, to children in the first year of life - but it also has a broader meaning; if I chide someone for his or her infantile behavior I simply mean that the person is acting immature or childish.

First Known Use of infantilize

1931


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to suppress quietly or indirectly

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