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optimize

[op-tuh-mahyz]
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verb (used with object), op·ti·mized, op·ti·miz·ing.
  1. to make as effective, perfect, or useful as possible.
  2. to make the best of.
  3. Computers. to write or rewrite (the instructions in a program) so as to maximize efficiency and speed in retrieval, storage, or execution.
  4. Mathematics. to determine the maximum or minimum values of (a specified function that is subject to certain constraints).
verb (used without object), op·ti·mized, op·ti·miz·ing.
  1. to be optimistic.
Also especially British, op·ti·mise.

Origin of optimize

First recorded in 1835–45; optim(um) + -ize
Can be confusedmaximize optimize
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for optimize

optimize

optimise

verb
  1. (tr) to take the full advantage of
  2. (tr) to plan or carry out (an economic activity) with maximum efficiency
  3. (intr) to be optimistic
  4. (tr) to write or modify (a computer program) to achieve maximum efficiency in storage capacity, time, cost, etc
  5. (tr) to find the best compromise among several often conflicting requirements, as in engineering design
Derived Formsoptimization or optimisation, 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 optimize

v.

1844, "to act as an optimist," back-formation from optimist. Meaning "to make the most of" is first recorded 1857. Related: Optimized; optimizing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper