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

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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 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,, "From ‘Seinfeld’ to WWII Morocco, Haggadah options will spice up Passover Seder," 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, "The Mysteries of Emily in Paris," 15 Oct. 2020 Feelings are hard to localize, to intellectualize, and thus to critique. Sarah M. Broom, The New Yorker, "Who Stays Gone, and Who Can Afford to Return," 12 Aug. 2019

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.

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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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Statistics for intellectualize

Last Updated

16 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Intellectualize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Apr. 2021.

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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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