west·​ern·​ize ˈwe-stər-ˌnīz How to pronounce westernize (audio)
westernized; westernizing
often capitalized

transitive verb

: to imbue with qualities native to or associated with a western region and especially the noncommunist countries of Europe and America
westernizer noun often capitalized

Examples of westernize in a Sentence

He decided to westernize his name after moving from Japan to Canada. The city has begun to westernize.
Recent Examples on the Web Officials tried to westernize him, including by attempting to comb his hair flat, and falsely told him his parents had died in a house fire. Harrison Smith, Washington Post, 4 Aug. 2022 Beijing has seized on the images to portray the movement as a coddled, westernized middle class incited by foreign organizations and governments to rebel against the world’s largest communist country, China. Washington Post, 9 Jan. 2020 While there is a strong patriarchal and religious streak in most of Egypt, the players come from a small, somewhat privileged slice of society that is westernized. David Segal, New York Times, 1 Nov. 2019 Mateer | Deadspin | September 11, 2019 | 14 minutes (3,725 words) Inside the rise of oyster shucking competitions in China, a phenomenon with its roots across the Atlantic Ocean that has found a niche within the country’s most westernized pockets. Longreads, 9 Sep. 2019 But Poland has slowly westernized and moved out of Moscow’s orbit. Alex Ward, Vox, 18 Sep. 2018 Qiu satirizes a Taiwan that was eager to westernize in the 1980s while being increasingly arrested in time. Ankita Chakraborty, Longreads, 8 June 2018 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'westernize.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1819, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Time Traveler
The first known use of westernize was in 1819

Dictionary Entries Near westernize

Cite this Entry

“Westernize.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/westernize. Accessed 30 Nov. 2023.

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