verb (used with object), lex·i·cal·ized, lex·i·cal·iz·ing. Linguistics.
  1. to convert (an affix, a phrase, etc.) into a lexical item, as in using the suffix -ism as the noun ism.
  2. 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 formslex·i·cal·i·za·tion, noun
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British Dictionary definitions for lexicalize



  1. 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 Formslexicalization or lexicalisation, noun
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