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

Examples of literalize in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web But even here — under a tangle of rope and lace, designed by Rajha Shakiry, that seems to literalize the World Wide Web — the argot of social media invades. Alexis Soloski, New York Times, 13 Jan. 2023 Or to literalize the notion that, duh, relationships can be scary? Justin Changfilm Critic, Los Angeles Times, 22 Jan. 2023 It’s a haunting image that suggests the way the father’s hopes, and perhaps his failures, may be borne into the future — a future O’Hara and the scenic designer, Clint Ramos, literalize in a devastating coup de théâtre at the end. Jesse Green, New York Times, 25 Oct. 2022 Men is the kind of movie to literalize those demons, mostly in the form of a man, performed by surprisingly malleable Rory Kinnear, who plays a cruel, spooky trick on her. K. Austin Collins, Rolling Stone, 20 May 2022 The camera darts between the lovers’ angry, exhausted faces in a flurry of slamming edits and chin-severing closeups, as if to literalize the idea that something between them has broken. Justin Changfilm Critic, Los Angeles Times, 7 July 2022 After a recording session with Jay-Z in which West talks his way onto a song, Simmons prompts Jay-Z for a quote, asking him to literalize his co-sign of West for the camera. New York Times, 17 Feb. 2022 Director Zambello doesn’t literalize the wondrous transformation at hand (wondrous or corny, depending on your tastes). Michael Phillips,, 14 Nov. 2021 But the film’s central effort, sometimes effectively, other times programmatically, to literalize this confusion. K. Austin Collins, Rolling Stone, 25 Feb. 2021 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'literalize.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1703, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of literalize was in 1703

Dictionary Entries Near literalize

Cite this Entry

“Literalize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Dec. 2023.

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