[suht-l-ahyz, suhb-tuh-lahyz]
See more synonyms for subtilize on
verb (used with object), sub·til·ized, sub·til·iz·ing.
  1. to elevate in character; sublimate.
  2. to make (the mind, senses, etc.) keen or discerning; sharpen.
  3. to introduce subtleties into or argue subtly about.
  4. to make thin, rare, or more fluid or volatile; refine.
verb (used without object), sub·til·ized, sub·til·iz·ing.
  1. to make subtle distinctions or to argue subtly.
Also especially British, sub·til·ise.

Origin of subtilize

1585–95; < Medieval Latin subtīlizāre, equivalent to subtīl(is) subtle + -izāre -ize
Related formssub·til·i·za·tion, nounsub·til·iz·er, nounsu·per·sub·til·ized, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for subtilize

cavil, nitpick, quibble, subtilize

Examples from the Web for subtilize

Historical Examples of subtilize

British Dictionary definitions for subtilize



  1. (tr) to bring to a purer state; refine
  2. to debate subtly
  3. (tr) to make (the mind, etc) keener
Derived Formssubtilization or subtilisation, nounsubtilizer or subtiliser, 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