[nash-uh-nl-ahyz, nash-nuh-lahyz]

verb (used with object), na·tion·al·ized, na·tion·al·iz·ing.

to bring under the ownership or control of a nation, as industries and land: a movement to nationalize the oil industry.
to make into a nation.
to naturalize.
to make national in extent or scope: a magazine article that nationalized a local problem.

verb (used without object), na·tion·al·ized, na·tion·al·iz·ing.

to become nationalized or naturalized: Those who remain in the country must nationalize.

Also especially British, na·tion·al·ise.

Origin of nationalize

First recorded in 1790–1800; national + -ize
Related formsna·tion·al·i·za·tion, nounna·tion·al·iz·er, nounan·ti·na·tion·al·i·za·tion, adjectivenon·na·tion·al·i·za·tion, nouno·ver·na·tion·al·i·za·tion, nouno·ver·na·tion·al·ize, verb (used with object), o·ver·na·tion·al·ized, o·ver·na·tion·al·iz··na·tion·al·i·za·tion, nounre·na·tion·al·ize, verb, re·na·tion·al·ized, re·na·tion·al·iz·ing.sem·i·na·tion·al·ized, adjectiveun·na·tion·al·ized, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for nationalization

Contemporary Examples of nationalization

  • Less pragmatic, it calls for a nationalization of the banking and insurance sectors.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Protest Fashions from Paris

    Eric Pape

    May 3, 2009

  • Executives at BofA and Citi on Friday put out word that they had so much capital that nationalization was out of the question.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Nationalization? Never!

    Charlie Gasparino

    February 22, 2009

  • So what would we see then—nationalization of the banking system?

    The Daily Beast logo
    A Man with Too Many Plans

    The Daily Beast

    February 10, 2009

Historical Examples of nationalization

British Dictionary definitions for nationalization



verb (tr)

to put (an industry, resources, etc) under state control or ownership
to make national in scope, character, or status
a less common word for naturalize
Derived Formsnationalization or nationalisation, 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 nationalization

1801, "act of rendering national in character," from nationalize + -ation. Meaning "act of bringing (property) under control of the national government" is from 1874.



1800, "invest with a national character," from national + -ize. Meaning "bring under state control" is from 1869. Related: Nationalized; nationalizing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

nationalization in Culture


A government takeover of a private business.


The taking over of private property by a national government.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.