in·​ter·​nal·​ize | \ in-ˈtər-nə-ˌlīz How to pronounce internalize (audio) \
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 How to pronounce internalization (audio) \ noun

Examples of internalize in a Sentence

They have internalized their parents' values.
Recent Examples on the Web Obama rose to power on a message of consensus building, and many of the young people who worked for him internalized that message. Charlotte Alter, Time, "How Millennial Leaders Will Change America," 23 Jan. 2020 Worse, the same has been true inside companies, in which female employees have unfortunately internalized the notion that only a small number of women can be successful. Sallie Krawcheck, Marie Claire, "Time’s Up for Wall Street," 1 Jan. 2020 While many gang members find in Jesus the courage to quit this life, others seem to have internalized a skewed set of biblical lessons, even committing acts of violence in Jesus’ name. Alex Cuadros, Harper's magazine, "“My Gang Is Jesus”," 20 Jan. 2020 While the Trump campaign has put its digital operation firmly at the center of the president’s reelection effort, Democrats are struggling to internalize the lessons of the 2016 race and adapt to a political landscape shaped by social media., "Even seemingly ominous developments for Trump become fodder for his campaign. When news broke last month that congressional Democrats were opening an impeachment inquiry, the campaign responded with an advertising blitz aimed at firing up the president’s base.," 21 Oct. 2019 Probably best to just internalize that rather than writing it down somewhere. 5. Marie Claire, "7 Things Men Will Never Understand About PMS," 25 Oct. 2013 Wait a minute, maybe this is sort of internalized patriarchal thought? Lizzie O'leary, The Atlantic, "‘For So Long Women Have Been Marginalized by Medicine.’," 27 Aug. 2019 The focus on this warden, Bernandine Williams, at first seems an odd and unconventional choice by Chukwu (though Woodard internalizes everything to give one of the great pressurized performances of the year). Isaac Feldberg, Fortune, "What to Watch (and Skip) in Theaters and on Netflix This Weekend," 27 Dec. 2019 That’s internalizing someone’s business model to an unhealthy degree, so a step back could benefit you in that regard as well, by breaking the spell so many of us are under that tells us a social media presence is a requirement or a virtue. al, "Carolyn Hax: Not ready to reveal my secret sexual assault even in post #metoo climate," 31 May 2019

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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Time Traveler for internalize

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The first known use of internalize was in 1794

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Statistics for internalize

Last Updated

18 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Internalize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for internalize


How to pronounce internalize (audio)

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 How to pronounce internalise (audio) \
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 How to pronounce internalisation (audio) \ noun

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Britannica English: Translation of internalize for Arabic Speakers

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