verb (used with object), civilized, civilizing.
to bring out of a savage, uneducated, or rude state; make civil; elevate in social and private life; enlighten; refine: Rome civilized the barbarians.
Also, especially British, civilise.

1595–1605; < French civiliser; see civil, -ize

civilizable, adjective
civilizatory [siv-uh-lahy-zuh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee] , adjective
civilizer, noun
decivilize, verb (used with object), decivilized, decivilizing.
noncivilizable, adjective
overcivilize, verb, overcivilized, overcivilizing.
uncivilizable, adjective
uncivilize, verb (used with object), uncivilized, uncivilizing.

educate, teach, instruct, polish, sophisticate. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
civilize or civilise (ˈsɪvɪˌlaɪz)
1.  to bring out of savagery or barbarism into a state characteristic of civilization
2.  to refine, educate, or enlighten
civilise or civilise
'civilizable or civilise
'civilisable or civilise
'civilizer or civilise
'civiliser or civilise

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

c.1600, from Fr. civiliser, lit. "to make citified," from O.Fr. civil, from L. civilis (see civil).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
They are the new homesteaders, trying to civilize a wasteland at the end of the world.
Picking the right moment to civilize it and shape it, though, is chancy.
The big story is not the push to modernize but the struggle to civilize, to curb the bestial side of human nature.
But that aside, things were loose and informal in the frontier settlements even as folks struggled to civilize their surroundings.
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