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[sen-tuh-men-tl-ahyz] /ˌsɛn təˈmɛn tlˌaɪz/
verb (used without object), sentimentalized, sentimentalizing.
to indulge in sentiment.
verb (used with object), sentimentalized, sentimentalizing.
to view (someone or something) sentimentally:
He sentimentalized the relationship until all real meaning was lost.
Also, especially British, sentimentalise.
Origin of sentimentalize
First recorded in 1790-1800; sentimental + -ize
Related forms
sentimentalization, noun
sentimentalizer, noun
oversentimentalize, verb, oversentimentalized, oversentimentalizing.
semisentimentalized, adjective
unsentimentalized, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for sentimentalize
Historical Examples
  • The tendency to sentimentalize nature has, in our time, largely taken the place of the old tendency to demonize and spiritize it.

    Ways of Nature John Burroughs
  • With a mind at ease, I now set myself to sentimentalize with Mdlle.

    The Memoires of Casanova, Complete Jacques Casanova de Seingalt
  • He was not one, this young man who was out for a bit of a lark, to sentimentalize about antiquity or the charm of the unspoiled.

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

    A Window in Thrums J. M. Barrie
  • Yet employers tell labor managers they must not sentimentalize.

    Working With the Working Woman Cornelia Stratton Parker
  • Miss Watts never tried to sentimentalize their relationship.

    The Cricket Marjorie Cooke
  • Oh, he was taken in by it, no doubt; it was something to sentimentalize over and be self-sacrificing about.

    A Woman of Genius Mary Austin
  • Why don't you sentimentalize his helpless, overworked horse?

    The March Family Trilogy, Complete William Dean Howells
  • And I don't want you to sentimentalize any of the things you see in New York.

    The March Family Trilogy, Complete William Dean Howells
  • Nature for Susan, in short, was all mood, ranging from cold horror to supernal beauty; she did not sentimentalize the gradations.

    The Book of Susan Lee Wilson Dodd
British Dictionary definitions for sentimentalize


to make sentimental or behave sentimentally
Derived Forms
sentimentalization, 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
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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
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