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[vuhl-guh-rahyz] /ˈvʌl gəˌraɪz/
verb (used with object), vulgarized, vulgarizing.
to make vulgar or coarse; lower; debase:
to vulgarize standards of behavior.
to make (a technical or abstruse work) easier to understand and more widely known; popularize.
to translate (a work) from a classical language into the vernacular.
Also, especially British, vulgarise.
Origin of vulgarize
First recorded in 1595-1605; vulgar + -ize
Related forms
vulgarization, noun
vulgarizer, noun
unvulgarize, verb (used with object), unvulgarized, unvulgarizing. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for vulgarize
Historical Examples
  • But tourists do vulgarize it; and I suppose we did so, just like others.

  • Thank Heaven here is a man who knows how not to vulgarize flowers.

    The Bachelors William Dana Orcutt
  • They saturate them with poisons and vulgarize them with unseemly practices.

    The Reconstructed School

    Francis B. Pearson
  • To “paint” the subject merely to make it more real, is only to insult the imaginative power and to vulgarize the whole.

  • I would not vulgarize my unknown source of beautiful illusions by giving it the name it takes in technical catalogues.

    The Parisians, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  • I doubt if even a male poet would so vulgarize any woman whom he thoroughly reverenced and loved.

    The Parisians, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  • Of a large class of works on the council whose object is to vulgarize the subject we of course make no mention.

  • Yet they will vulgarize the whole idea with their infernal notions of ‘what the public wants.’

    The Branding Iron Katharine Newlin Burt
  • The cafe proprietor cherishes him so highly that he refuses to vulgarize him by printing the asking price on the same menu.

    Europe Revised Irvin S. Cobb
  • Must such people come to the Sea to martyrize the sick and to vulgarize the majesty of the Sea, that wild and true grandeur?

    The Sea Jules Michelet
British Dictionary definitions for vulgarize


verb (transitive)
to make commonplace or vulgar; debase
to make (something little known or difficult to understand) widely known or popular among the public; popularize
Derived Forms
vulgarization, vulgarisation, noun
vulgarizer, vulgariser, 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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