po·​lit·​i·​cize | \ pə-ˈli-tə-ˌsīz How to pronounce politicize (audio) \
politicized; politicizing

Definition of politicize

transitive verb

: to give a political tone or character to an attempt to politicize the civil service

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Other Words from politicize

politicization \ pə-​ˌli-​tə-​sə-​ˈzā-​shən How to pronounce politicization (audio) \ noun

Did You Know?

Sexual harassment was once seen as a private matter, but in the 1980s and '90s it became thoroughly politicized, with women pressuring lawmakers to make it illegal. So, at the same time, the issue of sexual harassment politicized many women, who began to take an interest in political action because of it. In other words, we may speak of an issue becoming politicized, but also of a person or group becoming politicized.

Examples of politicize in a Sentence

They have politicized the budget process.

Recent Examples on the Web

Part of what drove me to write this book was the realization that sustainable food is politicized, elitist, and riddled with misperceptions. Sean Illing, Vox, "The climate crisis and the end of the golden era of food choice," 24 June 2019 Another intelligence politicized as a weapon against their opponents. Fox News, "President Trump talks Kavanaugh controversy, Russia probe," 20 Sep. 2018 Politicized Markets On top of all these factors, oil markets are also becoming increasingly politicized, potentially adding to volatility. Stanley Reed, New York Times, "Saudi Arabia Promised More Oil. So Why Are Prices Rising?," 4 July 2018 Earlier Thursday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said elevating Cain and Moore to the Fed would risk politicizing the nation’s central bank and endangering the economy. Alan Fram, The Seattle Times, "McConnell won’t say if Senate would back Herman Cain for Fed," 12 Apr. 2019 This option is telemedicine, which is legal in some areas though also increasingly restricted and politicized. SELF, "The Complicated Reality of Buying Abortion Pills Online," 8 Apr. 2019 Russia accused its critics of overly politicizing the vote and campaigning to discredit Prokopchuk, calling him a respected professional. Angela Charlton, The Seattle Times, "Interpol’s flaws exposed in US-Russia fight over presidency," 21 Nov. 2018 This is the fault of Bret Weinstein for politicizing the issue. Fox News, "Trump calls on DOJ to look into 2016 campaign surveillance," 27 May 2018 Democrats immediately condemned her remarks, which came a week after 17 people were killed at a high school in Parkland, Fla., and called on her to apologize for politicizing gun tragedies. Shane Goldmacher, New York Times, "Congresswoman Says Many Mass Murderers ‘End Up Being Democrats’," 21 Feb. 2018

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

1846, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for politicize

Last Updated

11 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for politicize

The first known use of politicize was in 1846

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More Definitions for politicize



English Language Learners Definition of politicize

disapproving : to relate (an idea, issue, etc.) to politics in a way that makes people less likely to agree
: to cause (someone) to become involved or interested in government or politics

More from Merriam-Webster on politicize

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with politicize

Britannica English: Translation of politicize for Arabic Speakers

Comments on politicize

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food or victuals

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