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civilize

or (especially British) civilise

[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.
Origin of civilize
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. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for civilizing
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He does not realize the impossibility of civilizing a non-religious world.

    What and Where is God? Richard La Rue Swain
  • But this is by no means, in its civilizing effect, a railroad.

    Nan of Music Mountain Frank H. Spearman
  • War has been a civilizing power, although it has been fearful expensive of blood, treasure, and public morals.

  • This is going to exert powerful effects of a civilizing kind.

  • There appears, however, to be little hope of civilizing them, and teaching them European arts and habits.

    The Bushman Edward Wilson Landor
  • Some would ask, How shall we go about colonizing and civilizing Africa?

    Stanley in Africa James P. Boyd
British Dictionary definitions for civilizing

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 civilizing

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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