• synonyms


verb (used with object), pri·va·tized, pri·va·tiz·ing.
  1. to transfer from public or government control or ownership to private enterprise: a campaign promise to privatize some of the public lands.
  2. to make exclusive; delimit or appropriate: special-interest groups attempting to privatize social issues.
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Also especially British, pri·va·tise.

Origin of privatize

First recorded in 1945–50; private + -ize
Related formspri·va·ti·za·tion, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for privatize



  1. (tr) to transfer (the production of goods or services) from the public sector of an economy into private ownership and operation
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Derived Formsprivatization or privatisation, 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 privatize


1968, from private (adj.) + -ize. Related: Privatized; privatizing.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper