marginalize

verb
mar·​gin·​al·​ize | \ ˈmärj-nə-ˌlīz, ˈmär-jə-nᵊl-ˌīz\
marginalized; marginalizing

Definition of marginalize

transitive verb

: to relegate (see relegate sense 2) to an unimportant or powerless position within a society or group We are protesting policies that marginalize women.

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Other Words from marginalize

marginalization \ ˌmärj-​nə-​lə-​ˈzā-​shən , ˌmär-​jə-​nᵊl-​ə-​ \ noun

Marginalized Writing vs. Marginalized People

Marginalize provides a striking case of how thoroughly the figurative use of a word can take over the literal one. The original (and now obsolete) meaning of this word, “to write notes in the margin of,” is analogous to the still-familiar noun marginalia “marginal notes or embellishments." A margin is, of course, the blank space surrounding the text in a book. Just prior to 1970, marginalize took on the sense that is most commonly encountered today, “to relegate to an unimportant or powerless position” (that is, to the metaphorical margins of society). This use of the word can be found as far back as 1968; an article in The Los Angeles Times from June 20th of that year reports, “[T]he Negro was kept aside, marginalized, thus composing in its large majority the chronically poor.” In its newer sense, marginalize has assumed a much more prominent place in the vocabulary than it once had.

Examples of marginalize in a Sentence

The program helps people from marginalized groups.

Recent Examples on the Web

Related At times the president marginalized Mr. Kelly, ordering aides to carry out tasks without telling him. Michael C. Bender, WSJ, "Trump: Chief of Staff John Kelly to Leave Toward Year-End," 8 Dec. 2018 People who have long been marginalized and othered for having curves no longer feel the need to contort themselves to fit in. Shammara Lawrence, Teen Vogue, "9 Size-Inclusive Lingerie Brands to Support Instead of Victoria's Secret," 14 Nov. 2018 The basic and fundamental human right of all people—including members of society who have been marginalized—whether for reasons of race, gender, ethnicity, or orientation—to be able to participate in the choices for their future and their community. Rachel Epstein, Marie Claire, "Meghan Markle Explains What Feminism Means to Her During an Empowering Speech," 29 Oct. 2018 The basic and fundamental human right of all people—including members of society who have been marginalized—whether for reasons of race, gender, ethnicity, or orientation—to be able to participate in the choices for their future and their community. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Meghan Markle Just Gave a Powerful Speech About Feminism in New Zealand," 28 Oct. 2018 Equitable solutions build in structures that BOTH improve the performance and outcomes of students that have traditionally been marginalized AND improve the learning environment and potential for all students. Chicago Tribune, chicagotribune.com, "Letter: Improving equity in Oak Park’s schools," 25 Apr. 2018 That’s another level of transformation of healing that the African-American community and any community that has been marginalized is going to have to undergo. NBC News, "Pastor Touré Roberts wants to help the broken heal through 'Wholeness'," 12 Mar. 2018 Those who did not attend college, or who were marginalized in other ways, namely women of color, suffered. Lolade Fadulu, The Atlantic, "Why Is the U.S. So Bad at Worker Retraining?," 4 Jan. 2018 The question is not if, but how and when women in America will fully build the political power necessary to ensure that the issues that keep us up at night are not dismissed or marginalized, but front and center in the national debate. Cecile Richards, Glamour, "Five Activists Criss-Crossed the Country to Hear from Women. Here's What They Learned.," 6 Nov. 2018

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

1968, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

16 Jan 2019

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The first known use of marginalize was in 1968

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More Definitions for marginalize

marginalize

verb

English Language Learners Definition of marginalize

: to put or keep (someone) in a powerless or unimportant position within a society or group

More from Merriam-Webster on marginalize

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with marginalize

Britannica English: Translation of marginalize for Arabic Speakers

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