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civilize

[siv-uh-lahyz]
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verb (used with object), civ·i·lized, civ·i·liz·ing.
  1. to bring out of a savage, uneducated, or rude state; make civil; elevate in social and private life; enlighten; refine: Rome civilized the barbarians.
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Also especially British, civ·i·lise.

Origin of civilize

1595–1605; < French civiliser; see civil, -ize
Related formsciv·i·liz·a·ble, adjectiveciv·i·liz·a·to·ry [siv-uh-lahy-zuh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee] /ˌsɪv əˈlaɪ zəˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i/, adjectiveciv·i·liz·er, nounde·civ·i·lize, verb (used with object), de·civ·i·lized, de·civ·i·liz·ing.non·civ·i·liz·a·ble, adjectiveo·ver·civ·i·lize, verb, o·ver·civ·i·lized, o·ver·civ·i·liz·ing.un·civ·i·liz·a·ble, adjectiveun·civ·i·lize, verb (used with object), un·civ·i·lized, un·civ·i·liz·ing.

Synonyms

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educate, teach, instruct, polish, sophisticate.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for civilised

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Ah, the ingratitude of the masses is a disgrace to civilised humanity!

    My Double Life

    Sarah Bernhardt

  • We are not abler than others whom you might find by the dozen in any civilised country.

    Freeland

    Theodor Hertzka

  • That agreeable animal which you meet every day in civilised society.

    Vivian Grey

    Earl of Beaconsfield, Benjamin Disraeli

  • Under the Moors this region was the richest and most civilised in Europe.

  • Margaret crushed complacency down because she was civilised.

    Howards End

    E. M. Forster


British Dictionary definitions for civilised

civilize

civilise

verb (tr)
  1. to bring out of savagery or barbarism into a state characteristic of civilization
  2. to refine, educate, or enlighten
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Derived Formscivilizable or civilisable, adjectivecivilizer or civiliser, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for civilised

civilize

v.

c.1600, "to bring out of barbarism," from French civiliser, verb from Old French civil (adj.), from Latin civilis "relating to a citizen, relating to public life, befitting a citizen; popular, affable, courteous" (see civil). Meaning "become civilized" is from 1868. Related: Civilized; civilizing.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper