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

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 Municipal health officials say the city chose to privatize using Capstone to save money. Zaz Hollander, Anchorage Daily News, 4 Dec. 2021 After a plan to privatize Nigeria’s now defunct state telephone company (NITEL) fell through, Opeke turned her attention to the difficult challenge of landing west Africa’s first private submarine cable. Alexander Onukwue, Quartz, 7 Dec. 2021 The situation worsened when authorities tried to privatize Alitalia, triggering an infinite quest for carrier partners and businessmen willing to support the state in tackling the challenges of a free market. Silvia Marchetti, CNN, 28 Aug. 2021 The club was launched after Noname organized a mass library card registration movement to counteract corporate efforts to privatize access to books. Stephanie Long,, 17 Dec. 2021 The latest framework from the MPOs, however, backs away from the previous efforts to privatize any portion of the bridge and Bayway project. al, 15 Dec. 2021 Microschools are often associated with ed-tech and efforts to privatize public education. Barnett Berry, The Conversation, 14 Sep. 2021 There have been concerns about plans in the infrastructure bill to privatize existing infrastructure. Malaika Jabali, Essence, 6 Nov. 2021 Gallagher said Mills wanted to privatize the jail’s healthcare delivery and aware a no-bid contract to a company from his home state of Alabama, NaphCare, to provide care for inmates. Cory Shaffer, cleveland, 27 Aug. 2021

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

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The first known use of privatize was in 1948

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Dictionary Entries Near privatize

privative proposition



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Last Updated

23 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Privatize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for privatize



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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