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 internalize (audio) \ noun

Examples of internalize in a Sentence

They have internalized their parents' values.
Recent Examples on the Web Verbalizing values appears to be an essential part of the way that companies process and internalize change. Michael Hyter, Fortune, "Companies that talk the talk on diversity are more likely to walk the walk," 14 Dec. 2020 Republican politicians now need to internalize the more blue-collar orientation of their coalition while hanging on to many of their old supporters. The Editors, National Review, "Biden’s Empty Victory," 7 Nov. 2020 Further internalize the habit and motivation by creating a routine and considering yourself a role model for others. Tara John, CNN, "What you need to know about coronavirus on Thursday, October 15," 15 Oct. 2020 And Slack, like work email, makes workplace communication feel casual, even as participants internalize it as compulsory. Anne Helen Petersen, Wired, "How Work Became an Inescapable Hellhole," 21 Sep. 2020 People with addiction can internalize this stigma, feeling shame and refusing to seek treatment. Nora D. Volkow, Scientific American, "Fighting Back against the Stigma of Addiction," 18 Aug. 2020 That’s one big consequence when singers and industry gatekeepers internalize messages that people don’t want to hear female artists: Listeners miss out on powerful songs. Emily Yahr, Washington Post, "When will the country music industry end the myth that fans don’t like ballads by women?," 24 Aug. 2020 You will most definitely be encouraged to internalize an ever-expanding diversity lexicon. Amna Khalid, The Conversation, "Why diversity training on campus is likely to disappoint," 5 Aug. 2020 And no wonder their unlucky descendants would internalize our economic miseries as somehow just. George Blaustein, The New Republic, "Searching for Consolation in Max Weber’s Work Ethic," 2 July 2020

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

Time Traveler

The first known use of internalize was in 1794

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Cite this Entry

“Internalize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Feb. 2021.

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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 How to pronounce internalize (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 internalize (audio) \ noun

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Britannica English: Translation of internalize for Arabic Speakers

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