re·al·ize | \ ˈrē-ə-ˌlīz \
realized; realizing

Definition of realize 

transitive verb

1a : to bring into concrete existence : accomplish finally realized her goal

b : to cause to seem real : make appear real a book in which the characters are carefully realized

2a : to convert into actual money realized assets

b : to bring or get by sale, investment, or effort : gain realized a large profit

3 : to conceive vividly as real : be fully aware of did not realize the risk she was taking

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Other words from realize

realizable \ˌrē-ə-ˈlī-zə-bəl \ adjective
realizer noun

Choose the Right Synonym for realize

think, conceive, imagine, fancy, realize, envisage, envision mean to form an idea of. think implies the entrance of an idea into one's mind with or without deliberate consideration or reflection. I just thought of a good joke conceive suggests the forming and bringing forth and usually developing of an idea, plan, or design. conceived of a new marketing approach imagine stresses a visualization. imagine you're at the beach fancy suggests an imagining often unrestrained by reality but spurred by desires. fancied himself a super athlete realize stresses a grasping of the significance of what is conceived or imagined. realized the enormity of the task ahead envisage and envision imply a conceiving or imagining that is especially clear or detailed. envisaged a totally computerized operation envisioned a cure for the disease

Examples of realize in a Sentence

They did not realize the risk that was involved. He finally realized the scope of the problem. She realizes how much things have changed. Do you realize how difficult that stunt is? You just have to realize that you can't always get what you want. She slowly realized what he was trying to say. He realized a lifelong dream by winning an Olympic medal. He finally realized his ambition to start his own business.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Many people don’t realize that a water bowl left in the sun is going to be too hot to drink by midday. Cathy M. Rosenthal, San Antonio Express-News, "When to walk your dog to avoid the heat," 13 July 2018 Perhaps realizing that his time on the show was quickly coming to a close, Chris decided to surprise Becca at her hotel – which seems slightly unsafe, ABC! Nick Schwartz, For The Win, "Bachelorette Power Rankings: Becca finally realizes that Chris is the worst," 3 July 2018 Whether because of politics or hunters or hybridization, the dream of a stable wild population hasn’t been realized, and their future looks grim. Robbie George, National Geographic, "Rule to Allow Hunting Could Doom Rare Red Wolves," 29 June 2018 Few of us realize that automobile manufacturers have been prying our hands from the steering wheel one useful piece of technology at a time. Eric Ellis, Fortune, "2 Things That Need to Happen for Driverless Cars to Go Mainstream," 28 June 2018 What most people do not realize, however, is that the brain has remarkable genetic diversity, with some studies suggesting there may be hundreds of mutations in each nerve cell. Robert Martone, Scientific American, "Early Life Experience: It’s in Your DNA," 10 July 2018 Whittle realized that as a publisher his task was to locate a particular niche and carpet-bomb it, with ringing bells and ads from the sponsor. Sam Tanenhaus, Town & Country, "Can Chris Whittle Launch a Truly Global School?," 10 July 2018 And now the worst of his fears appears to have been realized. Jonathan Chait, Daily Intelligencer, "Michael Cohen Apparently Flipping Is Extremely Bad News for Trump," 2 July 2018 People from all across America should realize that their rights and opportunities are threatened. Caitlin Chen And Emily Cadei, sacbee, "'Terrifying': Advocates say abortion, gay rights threatened by Justice Anthony Kennedy's retirement," 27 June 2018

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

circa 1611, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for realize

French réaliser, from Middle French realiser, from real real

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Phrases Related to realize

reach/realize one's full potential

Statistics for realize

Last Updated

13 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for realize

The first known use of realize was circa 1611

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More Definitions for realize



English Language Learners Definition of realize

: to understand or become aware of (something)

: to cause (something) to become real

: to achieve (something, such as a goal, dream, etc.)


re·al·ize | \ ˈrē-ə-ˌlīz \
realized; realizing

Kids Definition of realize

1 : to be aware of : understand Do they realize the danger?

2 : to bring into being : accomplish The war looked like my chance to realize my old dream of flying. —Richard Peck, A Long Way from Chicago

3 : to get as a result of effort : gain Will your business realize a profit?


transitive verb
re·al·ize | \ ˈrē-ə-ˌlīz \
realized; realizing

Legal Definition of realize 

1 : to convert into money

2 : to obtain or incur (as a gain or loss) especially as the result of a sale, exchange, or other disposition of an asset realized a loss when the house was sold — compare recognize

Other words from realize

realization \ˌrē-ə-lə-ˈzā-shən \ noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on realize

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for realize

Spanish Central: Translation of realize

Nglish: Translation of realize for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of realize for Arabic Speakers

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the setting in which something occurs

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