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 Meanwhile, the three remaining women without a red skull, a.k.a. Nany, Melissa, and Bayleigh, realize this is most likely their last shot to get one, so the campaigning is officially on. Sydney Bucksbaum,, "The Challenge: Total Madness recap: Kaycee makes her choice, Bayleigh takes it personally," 25 June 2020 Dallas needs DoHa in top form to realize its potential. Sean Collins, Dallas News, "Preview, prediction and player to watch: Dallas Fuel enter winnable weekend against Vancouver," 19 June 2020 Victor Shih, a Chinese politics expert, also argued this week that Hong Kong’s banking system is in far more jeopardy than investors currently realize. Grady Mcgregor, Fortune, "The fallout of John Bolton’s China bombshells," 18 June 2020 The person failed to realize Jackson was himself a keynote speaker. NBC News, "Black women create #BlackInTheIvory and #PublishingPaidMe to reveal inequity in academia and publishing," 8 June 2020 Several minutes into the arrest, officers realize Ambler is unresponsive. Amir Vera, Ed Lavandera And Raja Razek, CNN, "Black man heard saying 'I can't breathe' multiple times during fatal arrest in Texas, body camera video shows," 8 June 2020 Now people realize the effect of everything that’s been going on in the Black communities. Bob Mcmanaman, azcentral, "Arizona Cardinals' Kyler Murray says he will kneel for national anthem in 2020 NFL season," 17 June 2020 In a surprise twist for Season 4, dancers will walk onto the floor to realize that the Qualifiers have already started. oregonlive, "World of Dance: Season 4, Episode 4 time, TV channel, how to watch free live stream online (6/16/2020)," 16 June 2020 What's Going On, a 1971 concept album told from the POV of a Vietnam veteran returning home to realize there is no justice and no peace for Black GIs. Shannon Carlin,, "Da 5 Bloods Soundtrack Is As Political As The Film Itself," 13 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.

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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

2 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Realize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Jul. 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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