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

When the receptors internalize the signal, the result is tumor growth. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Biotech notebook: Cancer discovery, bacterial syringes and organoids," 13 July 2019 Instead of hiding or internalizing them, own them and show them off to the world! Ben Crandell,, "Ticket alert: Godsmack coming to West Palm Beach," 25 June 2019 The issue isn’t just that the institutions of the state were always opposed to the Brothers but that the group itself has internalized the brutality and dysfunction of its environment. Peter Hessler, The New Yorker, "Mohamed Morsi, Who Brought the Muslim Brotherhood to the Egyptian Presidency," 19 June 2019 How much of this fear is internalized, how much projected by others? National Geographic, "Could a woman walk around the world today?," 5 Apr. 2019 Once internalized, the message of the GHZ effect is unforgettable and mind-expanding. Quanta Magazine, "Entanglement Made Simple," 28 Apr. 2016 Lead researcher Thomas Curran of the University of Bath in the U.K. points out that many modern parents feel responsible for their children’s achievements and deeply internalize their children’s failures. Jennifer Breheny Wallace, WSJ, "The Perils of the Child Perfectionist," 31 Aug. 2018 Thus, young women appear to have internalized important lessons from the 2016 election, which some commentators described as rife with toxic masculinity. Melissa Deckman, Washington Post, "A new poll shows how younger women could help drive a Democratic wave in 2018," 5 Mar. 2018 For all this to be internalized and accepted as normal?, "The Handmaid's Tale Season 2, Episode 6 Recap: They Went There," 23 May 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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Statistics for internalize

Last Updated

22 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for internalize

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 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

More from Merriam-Webster on internalize

Britannica English: Translation of internalize for Arabic Speakers

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