medicalize

verb

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

transitive verb

: to view or treat as a medical concern, problem, or disorder
those who seek to dispose of social problems by medicalizing themLiam Hudson
medicalization noun

Examples of medicalize in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The perspective that preaddiction is similar to prediabetes also serves to medicalize addiction, reinforcing narrow conceptualizations of what addiction is and pulling attention away from other sociopolitical and environmental causes that also drive risk for substance use disorders. Cassandra L. Boness, STAT, 25 May 2023 Conception — so often an intimate act — is made impersonal and medicalized in the context of the fertility clinic, and then made intimate again through the abuse of the doctor-patient relationship. Lisa Bubert, Longreads, 28 Mar. 2023 Big Pharma hands the baton to Big Couch in the race to medicalize life. Neuroskeptic, Discover Magazine, 15 Mar. 2010 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, 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, 12 Apr. 2018

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'medicalize.' 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

1970, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of medicalize was in 1970

Dictionary Entries Near medicalize

Cite this Entry

“Medicalize.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/medicalize. Accessed 24 Feb. 2024.

Medical Definition

medicalize

transitive verb
med·​i·​cal·​ize
variants or British medicalise
ˈmed-ə-kə-ˌlīz
medicalized or British medicalised; medicalizing or British medicalising
: to view or treat as a medical concern, problem, or disorder
those who seek to dispose of social problems by medicalizing themLiam Hudson
the Western model of medicalized birth … in order to reduce potential riskJudith Fitzpatrick
medicalization noun
or British medicalisation
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