vul·​gar·​ize | \ ˈvəl-gə-ˌrīz How to pronounce vulgarize (audio) \
vulgarized; vulgarizing

Definition of vulgarize

transitive verb

1 : to diffuse generally : popularize
2 : to make vulgar : coarsen

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from vulgarize

vulgarization \ ˌvəl-​gə-​rə-​ˈzā-​shən How to pronounce vulgarization (audio) \ noun
vulgarizer \ ˈvəl-​gə-​ˌrī-​zər How to pronounce vulgarizer (audio) \ noun

Examples of vulgarize in a Sentence

The movie is a vulgarized version of the original story. the composer's masterpiece has been hopelessly vulgarized by its use in countless TV commercials
Recent Examples on the Web His versions were full-blooded, with lush strings and reasonably large orchestras — and, purists alleged — vulgarizing distortions., "The symphony confirmed his death in a statement.," 28 Oct. 2019 Ever since his rise to power, Trump has served as a vulgarizing agent. Leon Neyfakh, Slate Magazine, "Donald Trump Is Turning Us All Into Boring Pundits," 2 June 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'vulgarize.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of vulgarize

1709, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about vulgarize

Time Traveler for vulgarize

Time Traveler

The first known use of vulgarize was in 1709

See more words from the same year

Statistics for vulgarize

Cite this Entry

“Vulgarize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Jul. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for vulgarize


How to pronounce vulgarize (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of vulgarize

: to make (something) worse by making it less formal or more ordinary

More from Merriam-Webster on vulgarize

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for vulgarize

Comments on vulgarize

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


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

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!