in·​ter·​nal·​ize | \in-ˈtər-nə-ˌlīz \
internalized; internalizing

Definition of internalize 

transitive verb

: to give a subjective character to specifically : to incorporate (values, patterns of culture, etc.) within the self as conscious or subconscious guiding principles through learning or socialization

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Other Words from internalize

internalization \ in-​ˌtər-​nə-​lə-​ˈzā-​shən \ noun

Examples of internalize in a Sentence

They have internalized their parents' values.

Recent Examples on the Web

One of the lessons that Drake has wisely internalized over his time on top is that every new release is a chance to change the narrative currently being imposed upon you. Andrew Unterberger, Billboard, "Drake's 'I'm Upset': How One Video Can Change Everything For the Rapper's 2018 Narrative," 14 June 2018 Or, something darker: What if June has internalized the oppressor, and become Offred?, "The Handmaid's Tale Season 2, Episode 4 Recap: Helicopter Aunts," 9 May 2018 This is a lesson television has deeply internalized in the last several decades, which has led to much of its artistic boom. Todd Vanderwerff, Vox, "It writes a check its sequel probably can’t cash.," 27 Apr. 2018 So naturally, when Monk internalized that Friday, the coaches praised. Rick Bonnell, charlotteobserver, "For Charlotte Hornets' Malik Monk, the shots were nice, but the decisions were huge," 6 July 2018 Turns out, internalizing an action — making it part of your identity as an environmentalist —is the key to promoting positive spillover. Radhika Viswanathan, Vox, "Why everyone is shunning plastic straws," 4 July 2018 These people have internalized some awful stuff, be it the violent dehumanization of the military or the madness of isolation. Jacob Oller, The Hollywood Reporter, "How 'Hereditary' Flips Steven Spielberg's Trademark Shot," 10 June 2018 Employees are encouraged to make their work life synonymous with their social identity, and many internalize those utopian ideals. Nitasha Tiku, WIRED, "Why Tech Worker Dissent Is Going Viral," 29 June 2018 Some children will internalize their feelings and appear numb; others will respond by acting out. Dylan Gee, Vox, "I study kids who were separated from their parents. The trauma could change their brains forever.," 20 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'internalize.' 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 internalize

1794, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of internalize was in 1794

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More Definitions for internalize



English Language Learners Definition of internalize

: to make (something, such as an idea or an attitude) an important part of the kind of person you are


transitive verb
variants: or chiefly British internalise \ in-​ˈtərn-​ᵊl-​ˌīz \
internalized or chiefly British internalised; internalizing or chiefly British internalising

Medical Definition of internalize 

: to give a subjective character to specifically : to incorporate (as values or patterns of culture) within the self as conscious or subconscious guiding principles through learning or socialization

Other Words from internalize

internalization or chiefly British internalisation \ -​ˌtərn-​ᵊl-​ə-​ˈzā-​shən \ noun

More from Merriam-Webster on internalize

Britannica English: Translation of internalize for Arabic Speakers

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by force of circumstances

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