pri·​vat·​ize | \ ˈprī-və-ˌtīz How to pronounce privatize (audio) \
privatized; privatizing; privatizes

Definition of privatize

transitive verb

: to make private especially : to change from public to private control or ownership privatize an industry The mayor's threat to privatize trash collection shook things up. — Jeff Bailey

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Other Words from privatize

privatization \ ˌprī-​və-​tə-​ˈzā-​shən How to pronounce privatize (audio) \ noun

Examples of privatize in a Sentence

The city decided to privatize the municipal power company. a proposal to privatize the health-care system
Recent Examples on the Web The city of Miami Beach is facing a $13.8 million shortfall in its parking fund and may privatize up to 50% of its parking enforcement functions. Prajwal Kotamraju, Fortune, "A solution for cash-strapped cities is right at the curb," 18 Dec. 2020 The widespread infections come as Sheriff Bill Gore continues with plans to fully privatize healthcare services inside the seven jails. Jeff Mcdonald, San Diego Union-Tribune, "New COVID-19 outbreak forces transfer of dozens of county jail inmates," 16 Nov. 2020 Some investments were domestic, but the most fantastic gains derived from new schemes to privatize the globe. Rana Dasgupta, Harper's Magazine, "The Silenced Majority," 24 Nov. 2020 Trump also might have continued to privatize the National Flood Insurance Program, which would have forced climate-vulnerable households into foreclosure. Oliver Staley, Quartz, "The dystopian, Trumpian future narrowly avoided by America and the planet," 7 Nov. 2020 As vice president during the Obama administration, Biden generally focused on protecting Social Security, and resisted moves to privatize. Politifact Staff, Detroit Free Press, "Fact-checking last night's presidential debate, Joe Biden vs. Donald Trump," 23 Oct. 2020 Welcome, too, is distraught by Republican proposals to privatize the nearly 250-year-old system. Washington Post, "Long before post offices became political flash points, this artist was photographing them," 19 Oct. 2020 Murray wasn’t alone in trying to socialize the debts of his flailing company and privatize the rewards. Kate Aronoff, The New Republic, "Bob Murray Was Vicious to Both Workers and the Environment," 26 Oct. 2020 It’s part of a strategy to increasingly privatize education in America, with Republicans feeling the private sector is better suited to address student needs better on an individual basis. cleveland, "Coronavirus has dominated the election. But what happens on the other important issues if Biden or Trump wins? Analysis," 25 Oct. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'privatize.' 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 privatize

1948, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for privatize

Time Traveler

The first known use of privatize was in 1948

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Last Updated

24 Dec 2020

Cite this Entry

“Privatize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for privatize


How to pronounce privatize (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of privatize

: to remove (something) from government control and place it in private control or ownership


transitive verb
pri·​va·​tize | \ ˈprī-və-ˌtīz How to pronounce privatize (audio) \
privatized; privatizing

Legal Definition of privatize

: to make private especially : to change (as a business or industry) from public to private control or ownership

Other Words from privatize

privatization \ ˌprī-​və-​tə-​ˈzā-​shən, -​ˌtī-​ How to pronounce privatize (audio) \ noun

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