rad·​i·​cal·​ize ˈra-di-kə-ˌlīz How to pronounce radicalize (audio)
radicalized; radicalizing

transitive verb

: to make radical especially in politics
radicalization noun

Examples of radicalize in a Sentence

The war has radicalized an entire generation of young people.
Recent Examples on the Web The campaign was built on multiple tiers of harassment across several forums that were radicalizing angry young people—mostly men—into hating their targets, obsessively stalking their online presences, and sharing rationales for abuse with one another. WIRED, 22 Sep. 2023 Last month, victims’ relatives filed a lawsuit claiming tech and social media giants such as Facebook, Amazon and Google bear responsibility for radicalizing Gendron. Subscribe to Well Adjusted, our newsletter full of simple strategies to work smarter and live better, from the Fortune Well team. Michael Hill, Fortune, 16 Aug. 2023 Finicum’s martyrdom became a popular folk narrative among anti-government circles, useful for radicalizing those already sympathetic to the cause. Miles Klee, Rolling Stone, 11 Aug. 2023 But he’d been enraged and radicalized by the provocative decision of Martin Shkreli, then the CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, to inflate the cost of a drug called Daraprim, a lifesaving antiparasitic, from $13.50 to $750. Lauren Larson, Men's Health, 7 Sep. 2023 In the modern era, violent domestic extremists are often radicalized online, according to the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security. Daniel Arkin, NBC News, 27 Aug. 2023 In many of the deadliest attacks, extremists who were radicalized in online communities took violent action alone, such as in a shooting last year targeting Black shoppers at a Buffalo grocery store. Bryan Pietsch, Washington Post, 26 Aug. 2023 The events of 2020 radicalized a portion of the New Right and sped up its rejection of politics-as-usual and its embrace of state power. Matthew Continetti, National Review, 27 May 2023 And after a lifetime of waiting for Barbie to come to the beach and look at him, Ken is radicalized to embrace traditional masculinity and patriarchy in the hope that maybe those things will finally make Barbie love him. Jourdain Searles, refinery29.com, 26 July 2023 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1830, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of radicalize was in 1830

Dictionary Entries Near radicalize

Cite this Entry

“Radicalize.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/radicalize. Accessed 1 Oct. 2023.

Kids Definition


rad·​i·​cal·​ize ˈrad-i-kə-ˌlīz How to pronounce radicalize (audio)
radicalized; radicalizing
: to make radical

More from Merriam-Webster on radicalize

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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