po·lit·i·cize | \pə-ˈli-tə-ˌsīz \
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 \ 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

And hasn’t everything about the show been politicized to the point where the financially struggling family at its center has been fatally obscured? Matthew Gilbert, BostonGlobe.com, "A wait-and-see approach on ‘The Conners’," 22 June 2018 Then there is the issue of Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, two FBI employees whose text messages have served as fodder for those claiming the FBI politicized the Clinton investigation and worked to hurt the campaign of Trump. Chris Cillizza, CNN, "Everything you need to know about the potential bombshell DOJ inspector general report," 7 June 2018 Hogan and Franchot have accused lawmakers of politicizing school decisions and eliminating transparency from the process. Erin Cox, baltimoresun.com, "Lawmakers override Gov. Hogan's veto, changing decades-old process to decide which schools get built or fixed," 5 Apr. 2018 Criminal investigations targeted at or revolving around a President are inevitably politicized by both their supporters and critics. Salvador Rizzo, Washington Post, "Does Brett Kavanaugh think the president is immune from criminal charges?," 11 July 2018 The death of Robert Wilson, even more than any high-profile murder case, has been politicized from the jump. Mike Newall, Philly.com, "Krasner didn't have to let down the dead officer's family | Mike Newall," 25 June 2018 And, in Washington’s typical fashion, that weapon has been politicized. David Lauter, latimes.com, "Faced with a political crisis, Trump blinks, but the crisis isn't close to being over," 22 June 2018 Still, differences between the sides are manageable, Yu said, and unlike their exchanges with the U.S., are seldom politicized. Vladimir Isachenkov, Fox News, "Putin heads to China to bolster ties as US pressure grows," 6 June 2018 Many hope that sufficient action now could prevent monarchs from ever joining the list, which would avoid politicizing the species over regulation disputes. Anna Groves, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "They're beautiful — and in danger. Now, a huge effort focuses on saving monarch butterflies," 13 July 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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Last Updated

19 Sep 2018

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The first known use of politicize was in 1846

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English Language Learners Definition of politicize

: 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

See words that rhyme with politicize

Britannica English: Translation of politicize for Arabic Speakers

Comments on politicize

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


evasion of direct action or statement

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