[ lek-si-kuh-lahyz ]
/ ˈlɛk sɪ kəˌlaɪz /

verb (used with object), lex·i·cal·ized, lex·i·cal·iz·ing. Linguistics.

to convert (an affix, a phrase, etc.) into a lexical item, as in using the suffix -ism as the noun ism.
to represent (a set of semantic features) by a lexical item.
Also especially British, lex·i·cal·ise.

Origin of lexicalize

First recorded in 1935–40; lexical + -ize

Related forms

lex·i·cal·i·za·tion, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for lexicalize



/ (ˈlɛksɪkəˌlaɪz) /


linguistics to form (a word or lexeme) or (of a word or lexeme) to be formed from constituent morphemes, words, or lexemes, as to form cannot from can and not

Derived Forms

lexicalization or lexicalisation, noun
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