pri·​or·​i·​tize | \prī-ˈȯr-ə-ˌtīz, -ˈär-;ˈprī-ə-rə-\
prioritized; prioritizing

Definition of prioritize 

transitive verb

: to list or rate (projects, goals, etc.) in order of priority

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from prioritize

prioritization \ prī-​ˌȯr-​ə-​tə-​ˈzā-​shən , -​är-​ ; ˌprī-​ə-​rə-​ \ noun

Examples of prioritize in a Sentence

It's always difficult to prioritize work, school, and family. If you want to do your job efficiently, you have to learn to prioritize. The town council hopes to prioritize the bridge construction project at the next meeting.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

The system will then display who will be on your ballot on November 6, and inform you which candidates have pledged to prioritize gun safety. Rachel Epstein, Marie Claire, "Gun Control Measures in the Midterms: How You Can Make a Difference With Your Vote," 30 Oct. 2018 Among those who prioritize success, Cisco Systems is the top choice for a future employer, while Intel and Boeing take silver and bronze respectively. Carson Kessler, Fortune, "These Are the Fortune 500 Companies Americans Are Most Excited to Work For," 10 July 2018 These range from college presidents who prioritize admitting deserving, underprivileged students to OpenSecrets, which provides greater transparency into campaign contributions. New York Times, "America Has Gone Off the Rails. Steven Brill Sees Ways to Get It Back on Track.," 2 July 2018 Last week, developers on OpenBSD—the open source operating system that prioritizes security—disabled hyperthreading on Intel processors. Peter Bright, Ars Technica, "Hyperthreading under scrutiny with new TLBleed crypto key leak," 25 June 2018 In the process of leaning on a tech dictum that prioritizes asking for forgiveness rather than permission, tech companies often rile up city officials, activists and citizens. Jessica Guynn, USA TODAY, "In the Scooter Wars of 2018, it's not really about the scooters," 21 June 2018 Schanz said the reaction to the district attorney's race is part of a broader effort by the party to endorse and support candidates who prioritize criminal justice reform. Ryan Lillis, sacbee, "Three prominent Sacramento Democrats were punished for endorsing DA Schubert," 15 June 2018 Facebook announced major changes to its News Feed this year that now prioritize posts from friends and family over material from publishers and other businesses. Trisha Thadani, San Francisco Chronicle, "Al Jazeera to shut down San Francisco office, home of AJ+," 6 June 2018 People close to the President have long described Trump as someone who prioritizes loyalty. Sarah Westwood, CNN, "White House applying loyalty test in deciding midterm endorsements," 5 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'prioritize.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of prioritize

1961, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about prioritize

Share prioritize

Statistics for prioritize

Last Updated

15 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for prioritize

The first known use of prioritize was in 1961

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for prioritize



English Language Learners Definition of prioritize

: to organize (things) so that the most important thing is done or dealt with first

: to make (something) the most important thing in a group

More from Merriam-Webster on prioritize

See words that rhyme with prioritize

Britannica English: Translation of prioritize for Arabic Speakers

Comments on prioritize

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


by force of circumstances

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Vocab Quiz

  • the-education-of-achilles-eugne-delacroix
  • Which is a synonym of discomfit?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!