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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from intellectualize

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

Examples of intellectualize in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web 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.

First Known Use of intellectualize

circa 1792, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about intellectualize

Time Traveler for intellectualize

Time Traveler

The first known use of intellectualize was circa 1792

See more words from the same year

Statistics for intellectualize

Cite this Entry

“Intellectualize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Mar. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for intellectualize


transitive verb
variants: or chiefly British intellectualise \ ˌint-​ᵊl-​ˈek-​chə(-​wə)-​ˌlīz, -​ˈeksh-​wə-​ How to pronounce intellectualise (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 intellectualisation (audio) \ noun

More from Merriam-Webster on intellectualize

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with intellectualize

Comments on intellectualize

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


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

March 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • field of crocuses
  • Which is a synonym of rectitudinous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!