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[ahy-dee-uh-lahyz] /aɪˈdi əˌlaɪz/
verb (used with object), idealized, idealizing.
to make ideal; represent in an ideal form or character; exalt to an ideal perfection or excellence.
verb (used without object), idealized, idealizing.
to represent something in an ideal form.
Also, especially British, idealise.
Origin of idealize
First recorded in 1780-90; ideal + -ize
Related forms
idealizer, noun
overidealize, verb, overidealized, overidealizing.
unidealized, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for idealise
Historical Examples
  • She had begun to idealise Fritz, but how could she go on idealising him?

    The Woman With The Fan Robert Hichens
  • Surely you idealise him, Mark, and see in him the reflection of your own good self.

  • They treat women rather well in his country—in fact, they seem to idealise them now and then.

    For Jacinta Harold Bindloss
  • They are not to blame because the bards have, with one accord, combined to idealise them.

    Birds of the Plains Douglas Dewar
  • Women of many attachments are prone to idealise one among them.

    Lola Montez Edmund B. d'Auvergne
  • idealise to the full, but idealise the real, else the picture is a sham.

    Field and Hedgerow Richard Jefferies
  • That you have begun to idealise it, the very luxury of deep grief often vaguely hints, sometimes clearly shows.

  • We know that people can idealise a great deal, but they cannot idealise as much as this.

    The Fair Haven Samuel Butler
  • The great imaginative poets, in their delineations of man and nature, do not idealise; they see: or they see before they idealise.

  • You idealise the fair ones of Great Poland in a way they do not deserve.

    Napoleon's Letters to Josephine Henry Foljambe Hall
British Dictionary definitions for idealise


to consider or represent (something) as ideal
(transitive) to portray as ideal; glorify
(intransitive) to form an ideal or ideals
Derived Forms
idealizer, idealiser, 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
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Word Origin and History for idealise



1786, probably formed from ideal (adj.) + -ize. Related: Idealized; idealizing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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