1 a : to make eternal
b : to prolong indefinitely
2 : immortalize
The photograph eternizes the joy that Colin felt when he held his daughter in his arms for the first time.
"Sometimes it seems that Hopper (1882-1967) could have eternized almost any undistinguished moment of introspection or inaction in anyone's life. That's why his paintings can make us wonder about the opportunities for consciousness and revelation we have been blind to in ourselves." — Roberta Smith, The New York Times, 6 June 2013
Did You Know?
Eternize shows up in the works of literary greats, such as John Milton, Edmund Spenser, and Herman Melville, and it sees occasional use in modern-day sources, but it is far from common. The same can be said of its slightly longer and related synonym eternalize. Eternize is the older of the two; our earliest evidence of the word dates to 1566, while evidence of eternalize dates to 1620. But there's a third relative that predates them both, and it's far more common than either of them. That would be eternal, which has been with us since the 14th century. All three words are ultimately rooted in Latin aevum, meaning "age" or "eternity."
Test Your Vocabulary with M-W Quizzes
Word Family Quiz
Unscramble the letters to create a word derived from Latin aevum that means "of the same or equal age, antiquity, or duration": EOLCVA.VIEW THE ANSWER
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