lit·​er·​al·​ize | \ ˈli-t(ə-)rə-ˌlīz How to pronounce literalize (audio) \
literalized; literalizing

Definition of literalize

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Other Words from literalize

literalization \ ˌli-​t(ə-​)rə-​lə-​ˈzā-​shən How to pronounce literalization (audio) \ noun

Examples of literalize in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web That journey allows the film to literalize the way wine has opened up the young man's world and also to focus on the kind of super-nerdery that drove Somm and similar films. John Defore, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Uncorked': Film Review," 27 Mar. 2020 The fog of war is literalized as massive plumes of dirt explode up around the characters' ears, enveloping them in darkness. Isaac Feldberg, Fortune, "What to Watch (and Skip) in Theaters and on Netflix This Weekend," 27 Dec. 2019 In a way, fame, or a certain kind of success, literalizes the child’s experience of a parent as this unknowable but powerful entity, larger than life. Willing Davidson, The New Yorker, "Emma Cline on the Movie Business," 24 June 2019 The painter’s brilliantly simple gambit, one that has allowed for decades of elaboration, was to literalize that blackness. Dushko Petrovich, New York Times, "The New Face of Portrait Painting," 12 Feb. 2018 Movies and television have a way of using a soundtrack not just to create a mood but to literalize it. Wesley Morris, New York Times, "‘Proud Mary’ has a ‘Proud Mary’ Problem," 19 Jan. 2018 The episode starts with the classroom scene, complete with a model trolley, before literalizing the experiment and making Chidi steer an actual trolley to hilariously bloody effect. Elizabeth Yuko, The Atlantic, "How The Good Place Goes Beyond ‘The Trolley Problem’," 21 Oct. 2017 There was all of that and the gale-force brilliance of Jeannie Berlin, as a prosecutor who literalizes leaning in. Ginia Bellafante, New York Times, "A Bad Year for New Yorkers. However ...," 4 Jan. 2017 Something about Knott froze in childhood, leaving a body of work marked by the child’s tendency to literalize imaginative schemes. Dan Chiasson, The New Yorker, "Bill Knott’s Anti-Career of Guerrilla Poetry," 24 Mar. 2017

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

1703, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for literalize

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The first known use of literalize was in 1703

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Last Updated

22 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Literalize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Jul. 2020.

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