pos·​ter·​ize ˈpō-stə-ˌrīz How to pronounce posterize (audio)
posterized; posterizing; posterizes

transitive verb

: to print or display (an image, such as a photograph) with a limited number of tones or colors in a way suggesting or appropriate to a poster
You can also go wild with the Equalizer's advanced modes—posterize the picture, change it to negative, make it black and white …Popular Photography
: to make (an image) into a poster
You could freeze nearly any shot of this film, go to one of those websites that posterize any image and have a piece of art suitable for framing.Richard Roeper
US sports, informal : to make a memorable and visually striking play against (an opponent)
He ran through a hole on the right side, posterized safety Anthony Cioffi with a sharp cut to the inside and exploded into the end zone.Tom Oates
especially, basketball : to make a forceful and overpowering dunk shot over (an overmatched defensive player)
The Sixers rookie used two hands to posterize Harper, grabbing his first highlight-reel worthy dunk since being drafted in June. Matt Breen
… Smith got posterized, or dunked on, by Indiana Pacers forward Shawne Williams, and the dunk was played multiple times on Sports Center's top 10. Jeff Dillon and Sean Star

Examples of posterize in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Many of the moves that now dominate pro basketball highlights, such as posterizing dunks, ankle-breaking crossovers and dizzying spins, became staples of the professional game during that era. Michael A. Fletcher, Washington Post, 13 Apr. 2023 Horry took off toward the rim from just inside the paint, attempting to posterize Bulls Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen in the process. Josh Criswell, Chron, 28 Jan. 2023 Sexton read the play, surged forward, took the pass from Isaac Okoro, loaded up and bounced off the floor, trying to posterize Spurs 7-footer Jakob Poeltl. Chris Fedor, cleveland, 8 Apr. 2021 Jackson also attempted to posterize James Wiseman in the third quarter on a dunk. Omari Sankofa Ii, Detroit Free Press, 1 Feb. 2021 Oubre, whose first instinct is to attack the basket and posterize somebody, must learn to find Curry as a matter of habit if his superstar teammate is open. Bruce Jenkins,, 29 Dec. 2020

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'posterize.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1943, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of posterize was in 1943

Dictionary Entries Near posterize

Cite this Entry

“Posterize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Mar. 2024.

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