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

Incentives for politicizing World Cup stadium construction Large stadiums constructed for popular events, such as the World Cup, not only have questionable economic impacts but also may go unused after the events end. Konstantin Ash, Washington Post, "Russia put World Cup stadiums in some surprising places. This is why.," 23 June 2018 The unified team’s games have been heavily politicized — as marked by the presence of the South Korean president and North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un’s little sister — and the last one will carry even more historical ramifications. Anna Kook, USA TODAY, "Korean unified women's hockey team: Beating Japan would 'gift happiness to our people'," 13 Feb. 2018 The bill's passage comes at a time where power generation is highly politicized across the country. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "California Aims For a Carbon-Free Grid by 2045," 30 Aug. 2018 To keep favored groups out of jail, politicians deliberately politicize and de-professionalize the country’s security services. Rachel Kleinfeld, WSJ, "The Violence Driving Migration Isn’t Just Gangs," 9 Nov. 2018 Because there’s so many things tech is like getting politicized on — immigration, whatever. Recode Staff, Recode, "Journalist and author Annie Lowrey wants you to understand that universal basic income isn’t crazy," 16 July 2018 Eissenstat said Erdogan has politicized the police and military over the past 15 years. NBC News, "Turkey's election campaigns are marred by violence," 19 June 2018 The ambassador was criticized for politicizing diplomacy at a time when US-German relations are strained over Trump's withdrawals from the Iran deal and the Paris climate accord and his imposition of steel and aluminum tariffs on the European Union. Eli Watkins, CNN, "State Department spokeswoman notes D-Day in answer on 'strong relationship' with Germany," 5 June 2018 The resignations also marked an unusual rebuke to political meddling for a public authority often accused of being politicized. Andrew Scurria, WSJ, "Puerto Rico Utility Directors Resign, Alleging Political Interference," 12 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

12 Dec 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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with politicize

Britannica English: Translation of politicize for Arabic Speakers

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living or existing for a long time

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