verb re·al·ize \ ˈrē-ə-ˌlīz \
|Updated on: 16 Aug 2018

Definition of realize

realized; realizing
1 a : 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
2 a : 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


play \ˌrē-ə-ˈlī-zə-bəl\ adjective



Examples of realize in a Sentence

  1. They did not realize the risk that was involved.

  2. He finally realized the scope of the problem.

  3. She realizes how much things have changed.

  4. Do you realize how difficult that stunt is?

  5. You just have to realize that you can't always get what you want.

  6. She slowly realized what he was trying to say.

  7. He realized a lifelong dream by winning an Olympic medal.

  8. He finally realized his ambition to start his own business.

Recent Examples of realize from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of realize

French réaliser, from Middle French realiser, from real real

Synonym Discussion of 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

REALIZE Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of realize for English Language Learners

  • : to understand or become aware of (something)

  • : to cause (something) to become real

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

REALIZE Defined for Kids


verb re·al·ize \ ˈrē-ə-ˌlīz \

Definition of realize for Students

realized; realizing
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?

Law Dictionary


transitive verb re·al·ize \ ˈrē-ə-ˌlīz \

legal Definition of realize

realized; realizing
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


play \ˌrē-ə-lə-ˈzā-shən\ noun

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