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or (especially British) idealise

[ahy-dee-uh-lahyz] /aɪˈdi əˌlaɪz/
verb (used with object), idealized, idealizing.
to make ideal; represent in an ideal form or character; exalt to an ideal perfection or excellence.
verb (used without object), idealized, idealizing.
to represent something in an ideal form.
Origin of idealize
1780-90; ideal + -ize
Related forms
idealizer, noun
overidealize, verb, overidealized, overidealizing.
unidealized, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for idealise
Historical Examples
  • She had begun to idealise Fritz, but how could she go on idealising him?

    The Woman With The Fan Robert Hichens
  • Surely you idealise him, Mark, and see in him the reflection of your own good self.

  • They treat women rather well in his country—in fact, they seem to idealise them now and then.

    For Jacinta Harold Bindloss
  • They are not to blame because the bards have, with one accord, combined to idealise them.

    Birds of the Plains Douglas Dewar
  • Women of many attachments are prone to idealise one among them.

    Lola Montez Edmund B. d'Auvergne
  • idealise to the full, but idealise the real, else the picture is a sham.

    Field and Hedgerow Richard Jefferies
  • That you have begun to idealise it, the very luxury of deep grief often vaguely hints, sometimes clearly shows.

  • We know that people can idealise a great deal, but they cannot idealise as much as this.

    The Fair Haven Samuel Butler
  • The great imaginative poets, in their delineations of man and nature, do not idealise; they see: or they see before they idealise.

  • You idealise the fair ones of Great Poland in a way they do not deserve.

    Napoleon's Letters to Josephine Henry Foljambe Hall
British Dictionary definitions for idealise


to consider or represent (something) as ideal
(transitive) to portray as ideal; glorify
(intransitive) to form an ideal or ideals
Derived Forms
idealizer, idealiser, 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 idealise



1786, probably formed from ideal (adj.) + -ize. Related: Idealized; idealizing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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