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

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 In recent years fourth-wave feminists have politicized a color that has become gendered over time. Laird Borrelli-persson, Vogue, "Fall’s 50 Shades . . . of Pink," 27 Mar. 2019 Other conservatives are starting to make noise Republicans for the Rule of Law is not the only group of conservatives mobilizing against the president’s efforts to politicize the DOJ. Aaron Rupar, Vox, "Republican group runs “protect Mueller” ad on Trump’s favorite show," 14 Nov. 2018 Democrats and civil rights groups have been speaking out against efforts to politicize the census, and Monday’s decision was met with immediate protest. Margaret Hartmann, Daily Intelligencer, "Trump’s Census Change Could Give the GOP an Advantage for Years to Come," 27 Mar. 2018 Criticism about DuBois’s stance on the issue was swift on social media, with many arguing that her attempt to politicize the sign was misguided. Steve Annear, BostonGlobe.com, "A lawmaker said the State House’s General Hooker sign is ‘tone deaf.’ Social media responded," 15 Mar. 2018 From concerted efforts to politicize the judiciary, to the new law that censors references to the Holocaust, Poland is at a crossroads in the current government’s broader shift away from democratic principles. Steny Hoyer, Time, "Reps. Hoyer, Price and Schneider: Poland’s Censorship Law Ignores Its History and Undermines Its Future," 15 Mar. 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

16 May 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

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