marginalize

verb
mar·​gin·​al·​ize | \ ˈmärj-nə-ˌlīz How to pronounce marginalize (audio) , 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 How to pronounce marginalization (audio) , 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

Though admired by Edouard Manet (who also portrayed Morisot and whose brother, Eugène, would marry her), Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Edgar Degas, and by vanguard critics, Morisot was marginalized in later Impressionist narratives. Mary Tompkins Lewis, WSJ, "‘Berthe Morisot, Woman Impressionist’ Review: A Legacy Restored," 19 Mar. 2019 In my research, black conservatives who directly spoke to issues of racial inequality and black uplift felt marginalized within the GOP. Emily Stewart, Vox, "Diamond and Silk, Fox & Friends’ favorite black Trump supporters, explained," 5 Feb. 2019 For her entire career Williams has been taking a racket to conventions that marginalize and minimize, and the last 10 days have been no different. Nancy Armour, USA TODAY, "Of all Serena's triumphs, this Wimbledon run is the most impressive," 12 July 2018 What happens when policies are created to uproot systematic practices that have marginalized people? Otis R. Taylor Jr., San Francisco Chronicle, "Leadership Academy helps amplify voices for racial justice," 8 Mar. 2018 The real crisis is that the misbegotten postwar push to marginalize the president from the budgeting process has destroyed America’s fiscal discipline. John Steele Gordon, WSJ, "Why We Have So Many Shutdowns," 16 Jan. 2019 The spread of extreme partisan gerrymandering and voter ID laws, tools used by Republicans to marginalize minorities and other Democratic-leaning constituencies, are the most obvious examples. Zack Beauchamp, Vox, "The Wisconsin power grab is part of a bigger Republican attack on democracy," 6 Dec. 2018 There's a tendency to marginalize the unique experiences of black and brown women. Allison Mcgevna, Glamour, "A Year Later, Is the #MeToo Movement Stuck in Hollywood?," 5 Oct. 2018 The report finds New Orleans remains a hard place for people of color and, more specifically, that black residents continue to be marginalized in the local economy. Jennifer Larino, NOLA.com, "See 300 years of population, racial changes in New Orleans," 13 Apr. 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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Statistics for marginalize

Last Updated

22 May 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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