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verb (used without object), sen·ti·men·tal·ized, sen·ti·men·tal·iz·ing.
  1. to indulge in sentiment.
verb (used with object), sen·ti·men·tal·ized, sen·ti·men·tal·iz·ing.
  1. to view (someone or something) sentimentally: He sentimentalized the relationship until all real meaning was lost.
Also especially British, sen·ti·men·tal·ise.

Origin of sentimentalize

First recorded in 1790–1800; sentimental + -ize
Related formssen·ti·men·tal·i·za·tion, nounsen·ti·men·tal·iz·er, nouno·ver·sen·ti·men·tal·ize, verb, o·ver·sen·ti·men·tal·ized, o·ver·sen·ti·men·tal·iz·ing.sem·i·sen·ti·men·tal·ized, adjectiveun·sen·ti·men·tal·ized, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for sentimentalize

Historical Examples

  • With a mind at ease, I now set myself to sentimentalize with Mdlle.

    The Memoires of Casanova, Complete

    Jacques Casanova de Seingalt

  • I am not going to sentimentalize over my copy, for how much of it have I read?

    A Window in Thrums

    J. M. Barrie

  • Miss Watts never tried to sentimentalize their relationship.

    The Cricket

    Marjorie Cooke

  • She would not sentimentalize even her own suicidal renouncing.

    Angela's Business

    Henry Sydnor Harrison

  • What a pity that I feel much more in mood to fish than to sentimentalize!

British Dictionary definitions for sentimentalize



  1. to make sentimental or behave sentimentally
Derived Formssentimentalization or sentimentalisation, 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 sentimentalize


1764, intransitive, "indulge in sentiments," from sentimental + -ize. Meaning "to make sentimental" (transitive) is from 1813. Related: Sentimentalized; sentimentalizing.

Think on these things, and let S______ go to Lincoln sessions by himself, and talk classically with country justices. In the meantime we will philosophize and sentimentalize;--the last word is a bright invention of the moment in which it was written, for yours or Dr. Johnson's service .... [Laurence Sterne, letter to William Combe, Esq., dated Aug. 5, 1764, published 1787]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper