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.

Keep scrolling for more

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

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 And while the frenetic two-month sprint last year to pass the tax legislation left some lobbyists marginalized, the businesses now scrambling to navigate the changes are increasingly recruiting the people who wrote it. Alan Rappeport, New York Times, "Government Work Done, Tax Policy Writers Decamp to Lobbying Jobs," 8 July 2018 Yet lung cancer is never called a crisis, patients are often marginalized, and research into lung-specific treatments receives a small fraction of overall cancer research funding. Jeffrey E. Poehlmann, Philly.com, "Opioids are the only way he can manage his cancer pain. Stigma creates more problems," 7 June 2018 The Rohingya, a Muslim minority group that live mostly in Rakhine State, have long been marginalized by Myanmar’s Buddhist-majority (and military-controlled) government. Jen Kirby, Vox, "New UN report documents evidence of mass atrocities in Myanmar against the Rohingya," 18 Sep. 2018 Inch reportedly complained about being excluded from major staffing, budget and policy decisions by Sessions while also being marginalized by Kushner in the drafting of prison-reform legislation. Monique Judge, The Root, "Federal Prisons Director Was Caught in Pissing Match Between Jared Kushner and Jeff Sessions, so He Quit," 25 May 2018 Both El-Sayed and Thanedar said that since the election of Donald Trump as president, people of color have been marginalized. Kathleen Gray, Detroit Free Press, "Why Democratic candidates for Michigan governor want Detroit votes," 5 July 2018 The idea that anybody was marginalized based on it or had a hard time was very upsetting to me personally and professionally. Stephanie Petit, PEOPLE.com, "The Simpsons Slammed for Brushing Off Criticism Over Stereotypical Portrayal of Apu," 10 Apr. 2018 People have marginalized trans identities and non-binary identities for so long, even within the LGBTQ community. Stephen Daw, Billboard, "Lenny Zenith Talks Transphobia in the Music Industry & New Album 'What If the Sun'," 22 June 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.

See More

First Known Use of marginalize

1968, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about marginalize

Share marginalize

Statistics for marginalize

Last Updated

4 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for marginalize

The first known use of marginalize was in 1968

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Comments on marginalize

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

WORD OF THE DAY

the figure or shape of a crescent moon

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Late Autumn 2018 Words of the Day Quiz

  • frosted-autumn-leaves
  • Which is a synonym of yahoo?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!