so·​cial·​ize | \ ˈsō-shə-ˌlīz How to pronounce socialize (audio) \
socialized; socializing

Definition of socialize

transitive verb

1 : to make social especially : to fit or train for a social environment
2a : to constitute on a socialistic basis socialize industry
b : to adapt to social needs or uses
3 : to organize group participation in socialize a recitation

intransitive verb

: to participate actively in a social group

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from socialize

socializer \ ˈsō-​shə-​ˌlī-​zər How to pronounce socializer (audio) \ noun

Examples of socialize in a Sentence

She danced and socialized at the party. he likes to socialize with his coworkers after work ends

Recent Examples on the Web

Spouses are supposed to socialize together — at least most of the time — and make financial decisions together. Abigail Van Buren, Houston Chronicle, "Advancing age changes man in ways that surprise him," 14 Sep. 2019 There’s no lack of gay people that live down here, but [a] lack of places to socialize? Daily Pilot, "New Costa Mesa club seeks to electrify O.C.'s queer nightlife scene," 13 Sep. 2019 In a way, technology has reverted the bed to its earlier role: a place to socialize – chatting with friends, maybe even strangers – late into the night. Brian Fagan, The Conversation, "The bizarre social history of beds," 13 Sep. 2019 Some 18 days later, the national police drastically revised the account, alleging that the hit man mistook Ortiz for the intended target, a friend with whom Ortiz was socializing, but who looks almost nothing like Ortiz. Aimee Ortiz,, "David Ortiz hires former BPD head to look into his shooting," 25 Aug. 2019 To Fink, another key function is socializing, something that’s impossible without easy conversation. Joyce Cohen, Washington Post, "For those with hearing impairments, restaurant noise isn’t just an irritation. It’s discrimination.," 17 June 2019 Several young Hispanic-looking men were socializing on the street. Nicole Phillip, New York Times, "9 People Reveal a Time They Racially Stereotyped a Stranger," 25 May 2018 Spouses are supposed to socialize together -- at least most of the time -- and make financial decisions together. Abigail Van Buren, oregonlive, "Dear Abby: Man in his 70s wants to know how he can avoid becoming an ‘annoying crank’," 15 Sep. 2019 Joellen and Jim Yundt enjoyed socializing with others in the backyard, especially since Jim was raised in it. Jane Napier Neely, La Cañada Valley Sun, "The Valley Line: Backyard birthday soiree brings songs, smiles all around," 27 Aug. 2019

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

1765, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about socialize

Statistics for socialize

Last Updated

11 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for socialize

The first known use of socialize was in 1765

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for socialize



English Language Learners Definition of socialize

: to talk to and do things with other people in a friendly way
formal : to teach (someone) to behave in a way that is acceptable in society


transitive verb
variants: also British socialise \ ˈsō-​shə-​ˌlīz How to pronounce socialise (audio) \
socialized also British socialised; socializing also British socialising

Medical Definition of socialize

: to make social especially : to fit or train for society or a social environment children are socialized according to a given cultural pattern — H. A. Murray & C. K. Kluckhohn

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on socialize

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for socialize

Spanish Central: Translation of socialize

Nglish: Translation of socialize for Spanish Speakers

Comments on socialize

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


involving a confidence or trust

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Word Puzzles

  • alt 57589b2b4c6a3
  • Which answer pairs best with each of the following words? living, estate, club, music, road, mile
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

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!