verb (used with object), i·de·al·ized, i·de·al·iz·ing.

to make ideal; represent in an ideal form or character; exalt to an ideal perfection or excellence.

verb (used without object), i·de·al·ized, i·de·al·iz·ing.

to represent something in an ideal form.

Also especially British, i·de·al·ise.

Origin of idealize

First recorded in 1780–90; ideal + -ize
Related formsi·de·al·iz·er, nouno·ver·i·de·al·ize, verb, o·ver·i·de·al·ized, o·ver·i·de·al·iz·ing.un·i·de·al·ized, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for idealize

glorify, admire, rhapsodize, dream

Examples from the Web for idealize

Contemporary Examples of idealize

Historical Examples of idealize

  • You idealize her, and are proud of her; and she is worthy of it all.

    Princess Zara

    Ross Beeckman

  • But again, to idealize these possibilities would be foolish.

  • If you cannot realize your Ideal, you can at least idealize your Real.

    A Princess in Calico

    Edith Ferguson Black

  • You must not expect fine things of me; you must not idealize me.

    The Rescue

    Anne Douglas Sedgwick

  • Can you look at me, he asked, putting his hand on hers—can you look at me and think that I could idealize you?

    The Rescue

    Anne Douglas Sedgwick

British Dictionary definitions for idealize




to consider or represent (something) as ideal
(tr) to portray as ideal; glorify
(intr) to form an ideal or ideals
Derived Formsidealizer or idealiser, 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 idealize

1786, probably formed from ideal (adj.) + -ize. Related: Idealized; idealizing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper