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

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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 But now the incentives are literalized in buttons and written into software. John Herrman, New York Times, "Inside Facebook’s (Totally Insane, Unintentionally Gigantic, Hyperpartisan) Political-Media Machine," 24 Aug. 2016 Like his Oscar-winning 2004 short Ryan (embedded below), The Spine (previewed above) employs bizarro CGI imagery to literalize human flaws and failures. Scott Thill, WIRED, "Chris Landreth’s Twisted Spine Will Melt Your Mind," 1 Sep. 2009

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

The first known use of literalize was in 1703

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with literalize

Comments on literalize

What made you want to look up literalize? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

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