my·​thol·​o·​gize | \ mi-ˈthä-lə-ˌjīz How to pronounce mythologize (audio) \
mythologized; mythologizing

Definition of mythologize

transitive verb

1 obsolete : to explain the mythological significance of
2 : to build a myth around : mythicize

intransitive verb

1 : to relate, classify, and explain myths
2 : to create or perpetuate myths

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Other Words from mythologize

mythologizer noun

Examples of mythologize in a Sentence

a politician who has been mythologized by his supporters
Recent Examples on the Web Contemporary accounts tend to mythologize the brief life of Jean-Michel Basquiat, who rocketed from New York City’s underground graffiti culture to worldwide acclaim before dying of a heroin overdose at just 27 years old. Nora Mcgreevy, Smithsonian Magazine, "How Jean-Michel Basquiat and His Peers Made Graffiti Mainstream," 3 Nov. 2020 The decision to portray a character like Jin, a 13th century warrior, in the same way that Japan would later mythologize the samurai for nationalistic purposes is worth discussing. Reid Mccarter, Washington Post, "Like ‘Ghost of Tsushima’? Here’s what you may not know about samurai.," 14 Aug. 2020 Around the world, there are early signs that some of the emergency measures Wall Street is rolling out to keep employees safe in a pandemic will become a lasting practice in an industry that’s long mythologized the handshake. Katia Porzecanski,, "Wall Street’s New Virtual Workplace May Outlast the Virus," 5 May 2020 Had Jackson French succeeded in publishing her results, DiSavino argues, the study of Appalachian balladry might have been redirected from mythologizing about racial purity into something more accurate and inclusive. Lidija Haas, Harper's Magazine, "New Books," 27 Apr. 2020 Subsequent events have demonstrated the older generation of Zimbabweans have auto-mythologized the event. Olu Alake, Quartz Africa, "Forty years ago, Bob Marley paid his own way to play Zimbabwe’s iconic independence concert," 18 Apr. 2020 Those claims comes as many Eastern European countries in recent years have been mythologizing their own people’s behavior during the war and suppressing knowledge of wrongdoing, something Poland’s government also has been criticized for. Time, "Auschwitz Survivors Warn of Rising Global Anti-Semitism During 75th Anniversary of the Camp's Liberation," 27 Jan. 2020 Monarchs coming to power in the centuries preceding mass media could be mythologized and poeticized because myths and poems were the chief cultural material around. Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker, "The Field Guide to Tyranny," 16 Dec. 2019 This is a story of how a heroic underdog became a monarch who was then mythologized as a violent despot—despite being no bloodier than her father, Henry VIII, or other English monarchs. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian Magazine, "The Myth of ‘Bloody Mary’," 12 Mar. 2020

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

1603, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for mythologize

borrowed from Middle French mythologiser, from mythologie mythology + -iser -ize

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Time Traveler for mythologize

Time Traveler

The first known use of mythologize was in 1603

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Cite this Entry

“Mythologize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for mythologize



English Language Learners Definition of mythologize

: to talk about or describe (someone or something) as a subject that deserves to be told about in a myth or legend : to make (someone or something) seem great or heroic

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