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Avoid these words. Seriously.


[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. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for idealise
Historical Examples
  • Surely you idealise him, Mark, and see in him the reflection of your own good self.

  • My audiences reacted on me until I am afraid I came to idealise unpardonably.

    Sonia Married Stephen McKenna
  • They are not to blame because the bards have, with one accord, combined to idealise them.

    Birds of the Plains Douglas Dewar
  • You must not think too much of me, idealise me or anything of that kind——'

    Mrs. Severn, Vol. 1 (of 3) Mary Elizabeth Carter
  • I will idealise you until you besmirch yourself—but you are no child, to do that unknowingly.

    The Barrier

    Allen French
  • idealise to the full, but idealise the real, else the picture is a sham.

    Field and Hedgerow Richard Jefferies
  • We know that people can idealise a great deal, but they cannot idealise as much as this.

    The Fair Haven Samuel Butler
  • You idealise the fair ones of Great Poland in a way they do not deserve.

    Napoleon's Letters to Josephine Henry Foljambe Hall
  • To idealise, therefore, is not to be blind, but to be far-seeing.

  • A great physical pain, you in general cannot, at least at the moment, idealise.

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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