re·​al·​ize | \ ˈrē-ə-ˌlīz How to pronounce realize (audio) \
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 How to pronounce realizable (audio) \ 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 Few people realize the first traffic light was invented by a Black businessman, Garrett Morgan Sr. Phoebe Wall Howard, Detroit Free Press, "2021 Ford Bronco designer follows in footsteps of the Jackie Robinson of car design," 13 July 2020 Now, scientists realize that SARS-CoV-2 can result in damage to the kidneys and heart either directly, or through additionally clotting in the blood that passes through these organs. Katherine Ellen Foley, Quartz, "What we (don’t) know about Covid-19’s long-term health effects," 1 July 2020 Dave Franco’s directorial debut stars wife Alison Brie, alongside Dan Stevens, Jeremy Allen White, and Sheila Vand as two couples who rent a beautiful oceanside vacation home for a weekend getaway, only to realize that something isn’t quite right. Anne Cohen,, "Alison Brie Stars In Husband Dave Franco’s Terrifying Directorial Debut, The Rental," 18 June 2020 Under such conditions, Republicans might realize that restricting the vote is a doomed proposition and therefore would be forced to come up with another way to win elections. Lee Drutman, The New Republic, "How Democracy Dies at the Ballot Box," 18 June 2020 Lee, in his inimitable way, is prodding his audience to pay attention and realize that, even as history marches on, the same battles are still being fought. David Sims, The Atlantic, "Da 5 Bloods Is the Most Ambitious Film Spike Lee Has Ever Made," 12 June 2020 You should be grown enough to enter, and to soon realize that a story about human behavior as confident as this one is its own reward. Washington Post, "Let’s make it rain for Starz’s ‘P-Valley,’ an evocative and entertaining series about a Southern strip club," 10 July 2020 At the peak of his likability, Hanks epitomized on-screen leadership, staying poised in the face of extreme adversity while hiding his disappointment in failing to realize his dream of walking on the moon. Ben Flanagan |, al, "Tom Hanks turns 64 today; Here are his 10 best movies," 9 July 2020 The Walker building opened in 1927 to realize a dream of late African-American hair care entrepreneur Madam C.J. Walker. David Lindquist, The Indianapolis Star, "As Madam Walker Legacy Center president exits, organization focuses on online experiences," 7 July 2020

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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Time Traveler for realize

Time Traveler

The first known use of realize was circa 1611

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Statistics for realize

Last Updated

26 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Realize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for realize


How to pronounce realize (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of realize

: to understand or become aware of (something)
: to cause (something) to become real
formal : to achieve (something, such as a goal, dream, etc.)


re·​al·​ize | \ ˈrē-ə-ˌlīz How to pronounce realize (audio) \
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?
re·​al·​ize | \ ˈrē-ə-ˌlīz How to pronounce realize (audio) \
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 How to pronounce realization (audio) \ 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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