strategize

[ strat-i-jahyz ]
/ ˈstræt ɪˌdʒaɪz /

verb (used without object), strat·e·gized, strat·e·giz·ing.

to make up or determine strategy; plan.

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Also especially British, strat·e·gise.

Origin of strategize

First recorded in 1970–75; strateg(y) + -ize
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

VOCAB BUILDER

What does strategize mean?

To strategize is to plan or create a plan or strategy for a specific reason or goal.

A strategy is a plan for a course of action, especially one that prepares for multiple scenarios or situations. Strategize is commonly used in any context that involves extensive planning, especially the military, business, politics, and sports.

Example: One candidate had clearly strategized before the debate and knew how to answer every question and respond to every attack. The other candidate was obviously winging it.

Where does strategize come from?

Strategize is a combination of strategy and -ize, a suffix that converts nouns and adjectives into verbs (you could say it verbizes them, if you didn’t care about whether verbize was a word or not). Strategize has been recorded in English since the 1830s. Strategy dates back to at least the early 1600s and comes from the Greek stratēgía, meaning “office or command of a general.”

The word’s etymology hints at how its meaning has changed over time. Originally, strategy was a military term, referring to battle campaigns. But by the late 1800s, both strategy and strategize had broadened to encompass other types of plans. To strategize is to create a plan, but usually not just any plan: a long-term, complex, or multifaceted one, one that helps you be prepared for many different contingencies, or possibilities (much like how a general would need to be prepared for many different battle scenarios).

Classically, strategize has been used as an intransitive verb, meaning it doesn’t have an object (you can just strategize—you don’t need to strategize a plan). But since at least the mid-1800s, it has also been used transitively, as in Let’s strategize a course of action to increase our profits.

Did you know ... ?

What are some other forms of strategize?

  • strategizing

What are some synonyms for strategize?

What are some words that share a root or word element with strategize?

What are some words that often get used in discussing strategize?

How is strategize used in real life?

Strategize can be used to refer to planning for any type of thing, but it usually involves extensive thought and preparation—not just a quick decision.

 

Try using strategize!

Which of the following is the best synonym for strategize?

A. ad-lib
B. wing it
C. fly by the seat of your pants
D. scheme

Example sentences from the Web for strategize

  • Most of the commanders who strategize about rebuffing the riot police raids are veterans of the 1979-89 war in Afghanistan.

    Kiev’s Military Guardian Angels|Anna Nemtsova|December 13, 2013|DAILY BEAST
  • As they neared the exit, they started to strategize about the best ride to go on next.

    Makers|Cory Doctorow