ra·​cial·​ize ˈrā-shə-ˌlīz How to pronounce racialize (audio)
racialized; racializing; racializes

transitive verb

: to give a racial character to : to categorize, marginalize , or regard according to race (see race entry 1 sense 1a)
Just as racist power racializes people, racist power racializes space. The ghetto, The inner city. The third world.Ibram X. Kendi
Racializing poverty helps to distract from the systemic factors at the foundation of both racial and economic inequality.Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor
racialized adjective
a racialized society
racialized groups
In America, racialized women make up some 40 percent of all missing people, but receive only 20 percent of the coverage. Rawiya Kameir

Examples of racialize in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Woe to us if this racialized The Little Mermaid is a hit. Armond White, National Review, 26 May 2023 This crisis in mass incarceration, which only recently began to dip, has roots that run deep in efforts to politicize and racialize crime. Time, 3 Nov. 2022 Pohl also resisted calls to racialize the plague, even while other local medical experts persisted in drawing a connection between ethnicity and the disease. Bess Lovejoy, Smithsonian Magazine, 25 Mar. 2020 Too often Republicans racialize poverty, Democrats run away from poverty. al, 29 Feb. 2020 That, coupled with high levels of non-white immigration and a decline in the percentage of whites overall in America, has helped to racialize the Patriot movement, which in the past was not primarily motivated by race hate. Kaitlyn Tiffany, Vox, 2 July 2019

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

Word History


racial + -ize

First Known Use

1900, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of racialize was in 1900

Dictionary Entries Near racialize

Cite this Entry

“Racialize.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/racialize. Accessed 3 Mar. 2024.

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