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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web Despite the responsibility to your partner that comes from an accountability pact, Montpetit-Huynh says that, ultimately, accountability also helps individuals realize that it’s about them, not about the other person. Elizabeth Heath, Washington Post, "Skipped your workout — again? An accountability partner can help you meet your fitness goals.," 4 Aug. 2020 Both sides realize Mixon’s outperformed his rookie contract and want to get a long-term deal done. Tyler Dragon, The Enquirer, "Duke Tobin: Joe Mixon is piece that we'd like to get extended and have here a long time," 4 Aug. 2020 Burger tapped architect Andrew Dunbar of Interstice Architects to help realize her vision. Sally Kuchar, Sunset Magazine, "Less Is More: How a Berkeley Couple Turned Their Tiny Home into a Creative Haven," 3 Aug. 2020 Just as Vanya really unleashes her powers, Allison, Diego, and Klaus show up at the FBI building and realize everything is going horribly wrong. Rachel Paige,, "R29 Binge Club: Umbrella Academy Season 2 Recap," 3 Aug. 2020 But the reality is different than what most people realize. Henry Gass, The Christian Science Monitor, "Introducing Perception Gaps Season 2: Locked up (audio)," 29 July 2020 Local nonprofit and community organizations have worked to provide food, financial assistance and mental health services for Cy-Fair as residents realize a new normal. Chevall Pryce, Houston Chronicle, "Organizations offer COVID-19 financial, nutritional resources for Cy-Fair area," 10 July 2020 Leave the testosterone at home, and realize that tricking and fighting a shark on a fly, and then releasing it, is a real angling accomplishment. Kirk Deeter, Field & Stream, "Top 10 Most Unappreciated Fish to Catch on a Fly," 29 June 2020 But brands can’t act like the danger is gone, according to Mr. Earp, who predicted that any euphoria now will be followed by anxiety as consumers realize the virus is still here. Nat Ives, WSJ, "Advertisers Shift Gears to Promote the Reopening," 24 June 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about realize

Time Traveler for realize

Time Traveler

The first known use of realize was circa 1611

See more words from the same year

Statistics for realize

Last Updated

7 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Realize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Aug. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Comments on realize

What made you want to look up realize? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt painting a young scholar and his tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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