mo·​bi·​lize | \ˈmō-bə-ˌlīz \
mobilized; mobilizing

Definition of mobilize 

transitive verb

1a : to put into movement or circulation mobilize financial assets

b : to release (something stored in the organism) for bodily use The body mobilizes its antibodies.

2a : to assemble and make ready for war duty mobilize all reserve forces for overseas duty

b : to marshal (something, such as resources) for action mobilize support for a proposal

intransitive verb

: to undergo mobilization The army can mobilize quickly for a major war.

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for mobilize


marshal (also marshall), muster, rally


demob [chiefly British], demobilize

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of mobilize in a Sentence

They couldn't mobilize enough support to pass the new law. Several groups have mobilized to oppose the proposed new law. They have the ability to mobilize quickly. The government had to mobilize the army quickly. More than 10,000 troops were mobilized for war.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

For example, members of the disadvantaged party might complain that a biased legislative map harmed its ability to mobilize supporters or recruit candidates to run for the legislature. Barry C. Burden, Washington Post, "The Supreme Court decided not to decide Wisconsin’s gerrymandering case. But here’s why it will be back.," 19 June 2018 Meanwhile, the effort to mobilize greater Democratic turnout faces not only the usual problem of focusing attention on a June primary, but also the hurdle Bauman lamented: the inability to direct candidates to the areas of the party's greatest need. Ronald Brownstein, CNN, "How Democrats' California dream got twisted," 5 June 2018 Al-Sadr always showed his ability to mobilize millions, whether for political rallies or for elections. Susannah George, Fox News, "Iraqi Shiite cleric gained ground with nationalist voice," 14 May 2018 In a similar vein, #MeToo is No. 3 on this year’s list and the West Virginia teachers who mobilized on Facebook and challenged their own union to win better working conditions and decent pay come in at No. Ellen Mcgirt, Fortune, "Fortune's World's Great Leaders List," 19 Apr. 2018 More than 6,000 guardsmen and 5,000 federal troops were mobilized and sent into riot areas. Chicago Tribune, "RAGE, RIOTS, RUIN," 1 Apr. 2018 But beyond the legal questions surrounding the Facebook data is a deeper story: These efforts to mobilize some voters and dissuade others offer a glimpse of how the marketing of political candidates is growing ever more psychologically targeted. Laurent Belsie, The Christian Science Monitor, "Facebook uproar: Should personal data drive political ads?," 21 Mar. 2018 Challenges are far too great to adequately mobilize another farming generation and draw people to the field, which is also ironic when farms are idealized as bucolic and peaceful. Adrian White, Good Housekeeping, "Farm Life Isn't Nearly As Idyllic As It Looks On Instagram—But I Still Wouldn’t Trade It For Anything," 11 Jan. 2018 Launching on November 14 for children ages 7 and up, Wonderscope is an augmented reality app that aims to reimagine children’s literature by engaging, mobilizing, and empowering its narrator, all while building confidence in reading aloud. Lizzie Garrett Mettler, Vogue, "With Wonderscope, a Tech Company Attempts the Unthinkable: Healthy Screen Time for Kids," 14 Nov. 2018

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

1838, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about mobilize

Statistics for mobilize

Last Updated

11 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for mobilize

The first known use of mobilize was in 1838

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for mobilize



English Language Learners Definition of mobilize

: to bring (people) together for action

: to come together for action

: to make (soldiers, an army, etc.) ready for war


mo·​bi·​lize | \ˈmō-bə-ˌlīz \
mobilized; mobilizing

Kids Definition of mobilize

: to assemble (as military forces) and make ready for action


variants: also British mobilise \ˈmō-​bə-​ˌlīz \
mobilized also British mobilised; mobilizing also British mobilising

Medical Definition of mobilize 

transitive verb

1 : to put into movement or circulation : make mobile specifically : to release (something stored in the body) for body use the body mobilizes its antibodies

2 : to assemble (as resources) and make ready for use the sympathetic nervous system…mobilizes the bodily resources as a means of preparing for fight or flight— H. G. Armstrong

3 : to separate (an organ or part) from associated structures so as to make more accessible for operative procedures

4 : to develop to a state of acute activity ego feeling and ego attitude…mobilize hostile feelings toward others— Abram Kardiner

intransitive verb

: to undergo mobilization : assemble and organize for action

Other Words from mobilize

mobilizable also British mobilisable \ˈmō-​bə-​ˌlī-​zə-​bəl \ adjective

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on mobilize

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with mobilize

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for mobilize

Spanish Central: Translation of mobilize

Nglish: Translation of mobilize for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of mobilize for Arabic Speakers

Comments on mobilize

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


living or existing for a long time

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?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


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


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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