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civilize

[siv-uh-lahyz] /ˈsɪv əˌlaɪz/
verb (used with object), civilized, civilizing.
1.
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.
Origin
1595-1605
1595-1605; < French civiliser; see civil, -ize
Related forms
civilizable, adjective
civilizatory
[siv-uh-lahy-zuh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee] /ˌsɪv əˈlaɪ zəˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i/ (Show IPA),
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.
Synonyms
educate, teach, instruct, polish, sophisticate.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for civilize
  • 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.
British Dictionary definitions for civilize

civilize

/ˈsɪvɪˌlaɪz/
verb (transitive)
1.
to bring out of savagery or barbarism into a state characteristic of civilization
2.
to refine, educate, or enlighten
Derived Forms
civilizable, civilisable, adjective
civilizer, civiliser, 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
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Word Origin and History for civilize
v.

c.1600, "to bring out of barbarism," from French civiliser, verb from Old French civil (adj.), from Latin civilis "relating to a citizen, relating to public life, befitting a citizen; popular, affable, courteous" (see civil). Meaning "become civilized" is from 1868. Related: Civilized; civilizing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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