in·​tel·​lec·​tu·​al·​ize | \ ˌin-tə-ˈlek-chə-wə-ˌlīz How to pronounce intellectualize (audio) , -chə-ˌlīz, -shwə-ˌlīz, -chü(-ə)-ˌlīz \
intellectualized; intellectualizing

Definition of intellectualize

transitive verb

: to give rational form or content to

Other Words from intellectualize

intellectualization \ ˌin-​tə-​ˌlek-​chə-​wə-​lə-​ˈzā-​shən How to pronounce intellectualize (audio) , -​chə-​lə-​ , -​shwə-​lə-​ , -​chü(-​ə)-​lə-​ \ noun
intellectualizer \ ˌin-​tə-​ˈlek-​chə-​wə-​ˌlī-​zər How to pronounce intellectualize (audio) , -​chə-​ˌlī-​ , -​shwə-​ˌlī-​ , -​chü(-​ə)-​ˌlī-​ \ noun

Examples of intellectualize in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web That, for me, is the most exciting part of it—to see live music, this thing that’s at times anti-intellectual in its presentation, given space to intellectualize. Sadie Dupuis, SPIN, 21 Apr. 2022 In the Mood for Love and 2001: A Space Odyssey, the film was geared in part toward cinephiles, yet those same cinephiles could be counted on to intellectualize the movie’s components and predict its next moves. Shirley Li, The Atlantic, 7 Apr. 2022 Learning is great, but all too often, people tend to intellectualize information instead of taking the required action. Ross Franklin, Forbes, 27 Oct. 2021 Like Libra, Aquarius has a tendency to intellectualize, and like Libra, Aquarius can give off a cool countenance. Gala Mukomolova,, 15 Oct. 2021 Take care not to over intellectualize your branding decisions. Goldie Chan, Forbes, 20 May 2021 It’s aimed at those feeling overwhelmed by the COVID pandemic, all of the preparations that a Seder entails, the pressure to intellectualize the holiday’s themes or all of the above. Gabe Friedman,, 10 Mar. 2021 Looking for sensible answers to one’s questions about Emily in Paris is a pointless exercise, like trying to intellectualize one of those screen savers that looks like the interior of a fish tank. Philippa Snow, The New Republic, 15 Oct. 2020 Feelings are hard to localize, to intellectualize, and thus to critique. Sarah M. Broom, The New Yorker, 12 Aug. 2019 See More

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

First Known Use of intellectualize

circa 1792, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for intellectualize

Time Traveler

The first known use of intellectualize was circa 1792

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Dictionary Entries Near intellectualize



intellectually disabled

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Last Updated

3 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Intellectualize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for intellectualize


transitive verb
variants: or chiefly British intellectualise \ ˌint-​ᵊl-​ˈek-​chə(-​wə)-​ˌlīz, -​ˈeksh-​wə-​ How to pronounce intellectualize (audio) \
intellectualized or chiefly British intellectualised; intellectualizing or chiefly British intellectualising

Medical Definition of intellectualize

1 : to give rational form or content to
2 : to avoid conscious recognition of the emotional basis of (an act or feeling) by substituting a superficially plausible explanation conflicts that are intellectualized— L. E. Hinsie

Other Words from intellectualize

intellectualization or chiefly British intellectualisation \ -​ˌek-​chə(-​wə)-​lə-​ˈzā-​shən How to pronounce intellectualize (audio) \ noun


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