• synonyms


verb (used with object), in·tel·lec·tu·al·ized, in·tel·lec·tu·al·iz·ing.
  1. to seek or consider the rational content or form of.
  2. to make intellectual.
  3. to analyze (something) intellectually or rationally.
  4. to ignore the emotional or psychological significance of (an action, feeling, dream, etc.) by an excessively intellectual or abstract explanation.
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verb (used without object), in·tel·lec·tu·al·ized, in·tel·lec·tu·al·iz·ing.
  1. to talk or write intellectually; reason; philosophize: to intellectualize about world problems.
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Also especially British, in·tel·lec·tu·al·ise.

Origin of intellectualize

First recorded in 1810–20; intellectual + -ize
Related formsin·tel·lec·tu·al·i·za·tion, nounin·tel·lec·tu·al·iz·er, nouno·ver·in·tel·lec·tu·al·i·za·tion, nouno·ver·in·tel·lec·tu·al·ize, verb, o·ver·in·tel·lec·tu·al·ized, o·ver·in·tel·lec·tu·al·iz·ing.sem·i-in·tel·lec·tu·al·ized, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for intellectualise

Historical Examples

  • The Marching Men Movement was never a thing to intellectualise.

    Marching Men

    Sherwood Anderson

  • Makers of new aristocracies are still, however, apt to intellectualise.

  • At this point it is already difficult not to intellectualise the whole process.

  • Yet could we sit and moralise, and intellectualise, for hours at this window, nor hear the striking clock.

  • In Macaulay's time he used to be guided by his 'common-sense,' and to intellectualise the whole process.

British Dictionary definitions for intellectualise



  1. to make or become intellectual
  2. (tr) to treat or consider in an intellectual way; rationalize
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Derived Formsintellectualization or intellectualisation, nounintellectualizer or intellectualiser, 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 intellectualise



1819, from intellectual + -ize. Related: Intellectualized; intellectualizing.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

intellectualise in Medicine


  1. To furnish a rational structure or meaning for.
  2. To engage in intellectualization.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.