med·​i·​cal·​ize | \ ˈme-di-kə-ˌlīz How to pronounce medicalize (audio) \
medicalized; medicalizing

Definition of medicalize

transitive verb

: to view or treat as a medical concern, problem, or disorder those who seek to dispose of social problems by medicalizing them— Liam Hudson

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Other Words from medicalize

medicalization \ ˌme-​di-​kə-​lə-​ˈzā-​shən How to pronounce medicalize (audio) \ noun

Examples of medicalize in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In the late 19th century, when a wave of immigrants came to the U.S. from Southern and Eastern Europe, there was a parallel effort to medicalize and demonize excessive body hair, Herzig said. NBC News, "Shamed for body hair growing up, Desi women now challenging racist standards," 4 Mar. 2021 Despite the problems with greater access to marijuana, a strong pro-marijuana movement has seized the opportunity to medicalize its mission and thus change public perception of the drug. Nicholas Chadi, STAT, "Easing access to marijuana is not a way to solve the opioid epidemic," 12 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'medicalize.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of medicalize

1970, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for medicalize

Time Traveler

The first known use of medicalize was in 1970

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Statistics for medicalize

Last Updated

11 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Medicalize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for medicalize


transitive verb
variants: or British medicalise \ ˈmed-​ə-​kə-​ˌlīz \
medicalized or British medicalised; medicalizing or British medicalising

Medical Definition of medicalize

: to view or treat as a medical concern, problem, or disorder those who seek to dispose of social problems by medicalizing them— Liam Hudson the Western model of medicalized birth…in order to reduce potential risk— Judith Fitzpatrick

Other Words from medicalize

medicalization or British medicalisation \ ˌmed-​ə-​kə-​lə-​ˈzā-​shən How to pronounce medicalize (audio) \ noun

Comments on medicalize

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