verb (used with object), civ·i·lized, civ·i·liz·ing.
Origin of civilize
Synonyms for civilize
Examples from the Web for civilize
An Army veteran looks at the fall of Mosul and recalls his own time there trying to civilize the land with guns and money.
Consider it part of the mission to civilize, a necessary part of the process to start solving problems again in Washington.Vote the Bums Out: the Eight Worst Members of Congress|John Avlon|November 3, 2012|DAILY BEAST
In the old days, colonial occupiers had what the French called “a mission to civilize.”The O Word: Christopher Dickey on What Occupation Means Today|Christopher Dickey|December 6, 2011|DAILY BEAST
From her eccentric position at Alexandria she could not civilize Europe.History of the Intellectual Development of Europe, Volume I (of 2)|John William Draper
A good sceptic is willing to help educate and civilize in a general way, but he will put forth no effort to evangelize.What and Where is God?|Richard La Rue Swain
For the effort to civilize Carlos had been a vain one and he cheerfully reverted to the habits and companionship of his own race.The Ranch Girls at Home Again|Margaret Vandercook
It is to civilize the Selenites, unless they are more civilized already than we are ourselves!All Around the Moon|Jules Verne
The only efforts made to civilize them have been made by the missionaries, who are hampered at every turn.The Crime of the Congo|Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
c.1600, "to bring out of barbarism," from French civiliser, verb from Old French civil (adj.), from Latin civilis "relating to a citizen, relating to public life, befitting a citizen; popular, affable, courteous" (see civil). Meaning "become civilized" is from 1868. Related: Civilized; civilizing.