verb (used with object), in·ter·nal·ized, in·ter·nal·iz·ing.

to incorporate (the cultural values, mores, motives, etc., of another or of a group), as through learning, socialization, or identification.
to make subjective or give a subjective character to.
Linguistics. to acquire (a linguistic rule, structure, etc.) as part of one's language competence.

Nearby words

  1. internal urethral opening,
  2. internal version,
  3. internal-combustion,
  4. internal-combustion engine,
  5. internalization,
  6. internally,
  7. internasal suture,
  8. internat.,
  9. international,
  10. international association of lions clubs

Also especially British, in·ter·nal·ise.

Origin of internalize

First recorded in 1940–45; internal + -ize

Related formsin·ter·nal·i·za·tion, nounqua·si-in·ter·nal·ized, adjectivesem·i-in·ter·nal·ized, adjectiveun·in·ter·nal·ized, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for internalize

British Dictionary definitions for internalize




(tr) psychol sociol to make internal, esp to incorporate within oneself (values, attitudes, etc) through learning or socializationAlso: interiorize Compare introject
Derived Formsinternalization or internalisation, 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 internalize



1856, American English, from internal + -ize. Related: Internalized; internalizing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for internalize




To make internal, personal, or subjective.
To take in and adopt as an integral part of one's attitudes or beliefs.
Related formsin•ter′nal•i•zation (-nə-lĭ-zāshən) n.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.