ini·​tial·​ize | \ i-ˈni-shə-ˌlīz How to pronounce initialize (audio) \
initialized; initializing

Definition of initialize

transitive verb

: to set (something, such as a computer program counter) to a starting position, value, or configuration

Other Words from initialize

initialization \ i-​ˌni-​sh(ə-​)lə-​ˈzā-​shən How to pronounce initialize (audio) \ noun

Examples of initialize in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Here’s how to allocate and initialize 2 bytes, or 1 word of space, with the address of VAL1. Andrew Hudson, Ars Technica, 14 Mar. 2022 According to Roku claims, the Streaming 4K now includes a faster processor which can boot up 30% faster and initialize channels more quickly, a feature many consumers will appreciate for those who have downloaded multiple Roku channels. Mark Vena, Forbes, 24 Sep. 2021 Applications didn’t need any data to initialize themselves and could shut down cleanly or abruptly without issue. Kam Eshghi, Forbes, 22 June 2021 Healey’s complaint, which initializes the lawsuit process, presents damning new details about the way the campaign was allegedly conducted and publicized. Jamie Ducharme, Time, 12 Feb. 2020 There was reportedly finalized text for an agreement, initialized by representatives of both sides. Ankit Panda, The New Republic, 9 Sep. 2019 First of all, the majority of model plots on this graphic were initialized at 8pm ET on Tuesday, August 27. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, 6 Sep. 2019 Ensemble forecasts capture the uncertainty in a forecast by initializing a computer model with slightly different starting conditions. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, 12 Sep. 2018 Each time a train finishes a run, the new system will have to be initialized before the train can turn around and start a new run in the other direction. Kimberly Fornek,, 6 Apr. 2018 See More

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

First Known Use of initialize

1957, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for initialize

Time Traveler

The first known use of initialize was in 1957

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Dictionary Entries Near initialize



initial letter

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Statistics for initialize

Last Updated

30 Mar 2022

Cite this Entry

“Initialize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 May. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on initialize

Nglish: Translation of initialize for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of initialize for Arabic Speakers


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