sen·​ti·​men·​tal·​ize | \ˌsen-tə-ˈmen-tə-ˌlīz \
sentimentalized; sentimentalizing

Definition of sentimentalize 

intransitive verb

: to indulge in sentiment

transitive verb

: to look upon or imbue with sentiment

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Other Words from sentimentalize

sentimentalization \ ˌsen-​tə-​ˌmen-​tə-​lə-​ˈzā-​shən \ noun

Examples of sentimentalize in a Sentence

The movie sentimentalizes the past. He does not sentimentalize in his biography.

Recent Examples on the Web

But without sentimentalizing in the least, Irons’ James allows us to sympathize with a husband and father who’s helpless to undo the damage everyone blames him for. Charles Mcnulty,, "Lesley Manville and Jeremy Irons fill 'Long Day's Journey Into Night' with sorrow and savagery," 12 June 2018 In the process, though, the novel diminishes her vivid voice and personality, softens her views, and minimizes some essential relationships while sentimentalizing or coarsening others. Sarah Stone, San Francisco Chronicle, "‘Varina,’ by Charles Frazier," 31 May 2018 Even bluesy entr’actes, though achingly sung and strummed by Martin Luther McCoy, only sentimentalize and downplay a story that wants to stretch upward. Lily Janiak, San Francisco Chronicle, "Suzan-Lori Parks’ Civil War-era myth becomes ours in ACT’s ‘Father Comes Home’," 2 May 2018 Unfortunately, Reyna rarely rises above stereotype, either sentimentalized by Cora or demonized by Troy. Margaret Wilkerson Sexton, New York Times, "A Debut Novelist’s Elegy for Post-Katrina New Orleans," 5 Jan. 2018 Cruise is a likable wrongdoer, but Neeson’s Felt is sentimentalized. Armond White, National Review, "American Made," 29 Sep. 2017 An excellent score by Andrew Bird and fine, drizzly-day lensing by Nathan M. Miller underline his predicament without sentimentalizing loneliness. John Defore, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Outside In': Film Review | TIFF 2017," 17 Sep. 2017 Romanticizing and sentimentalizing death and destruction this way belongs to a deep-set (almost psychotic) liberal fantasy. Armond White, National Review, "Kathryn Bigelow Does the Wrong Thing in Detroit," 4 Aug. 2017 Wajda and Linda refuse to sentimentalize Strzeminski’s plight. Peter Rainer, The Christian Science Monitor, "In intensely harrowing 'Afterimage,' Stalinist repression shatters artist’s life," 26 May 2017

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

1788, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

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Last Updated

1 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for sentimentalize

The first known use of sentimentalize was in 1788

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English Language Learners Definition of sentimentalize

: to describe or show (something) in an emotional way that makes it seem more attractive or interesting than it really is : to describe or show (something) in a sentimental way

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