pri·​or·​i·​tize | \ prī-ˈȯr-ə-ˌtīz How to pronounce prioritize (audio) , -ˈär-; ˈprī-ə-rə- \
prioritized; prioritizing

Definition of prioritize

transitive verb

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

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Other Words from prioritize

prioritization \ prī-​ˌȯr-​ə-​tə-​ˈzā-​shən How to pronounce prioritization (audio) , -​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.
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Recent Examples on the Web The initial turnaround time was days not hours. Because of Ohio's limited supply, state health officials have prioritized tests for those who were hospitalized, health care workers, those in congregate care settings and older adults. Jackie Borchardt,, "DeWine set a goal to test 22K Ohioans a day for COVID-19 by Wednesday. That isn't happening.," 27 May 2020 The crew and rescue coordinators on the ground would prioritize landing locations based upon weather and rescue force response time. William Harwood, CBS News, "SpaceX Crew Dragon abort system a major boost for crew safety," 26 May 2020 The prospect of long-term shortages is giving rise to an intensifying debate about whether the industry should reopen faster or safety should be prioritized, even at the cost of the nation's food supply. Taylor Telford, Anchorage Daily News, "Meat industry is trying to get back to normal, but workers are still getting sick - and shortages could get worse," 26 May 2020 The prospect of long-term shortages is giving rise to an intensifying debate about whether the industry should reopen faster or safety should be prioritized, even at the cost of the nation’s food supply. Taylor Telford,, "Despite measures, meat workers are still getting sick," 25 May 2020 The country temporarily prioritized justice over freedom. Madison Mainwaring, Harper's Magazine, "Survive and Advance," 25 May 2020 Part of the shortage is because the company is prioritizing deliveries to its hospital and health care customers, who are on the front lines battling the virus. Roland Li,, "Clorox’s coronavirus challenge: 500% demand spikes and nonstop manufacturing," 23 May 2020 From the beginning, DeSantis prioritized at-risk populations, banning both visits at nursing homes and the reintroduction of residents who were positive for the coronavirus. W. James Antle Iii, Washington Examiner, "DeSantis and Florida emerge as Trump showcase for reopening," 22 May 2020 In a court filing last month, an official said the Bureau of Prisons is prioritizing inmates who have served 50% of their punishment. Kristine Phillips, USA TODAY, "Bureau of Prisons to start moving 6,800 new federal inmates to its facilities," 22 May 2020

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.

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First Known Use of prioritize

1961, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for prioritize

Time Traveler

The first known use of prioritize was in 1961

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Statistics for prioritize

Last Updated

30 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Prioritize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for prioritize


How to pronounce prioritize (audio)

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on prioritize

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for prioritize

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with prioritize

Britannica English: Translation of prioritize for Arabic Speakers

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