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or (especially British) intellectualise

[in-tl-ek-choo-uh-lahyz] /ˌɪn tlˈɛk tʃu əˌlaɪz/
verb (used with object), intellectualized, intellectualizing.
to seek or consider the rational content or form of.
to make intellectual.
to analyze (something) intellectually or rationally.
to ignore the emotional or psychological significance of (an action, feeling, dream, etc.) by an excessively intellectual or abstract explanation.
verb (used without object), intellectualized, intellectualizing.
to talk or write intellectually; reason; philosophize:
to intellectualize about world problems.
Origin of intellectualize
1810-20; intellectual + -ize
Related forms
intellectualization, noun
intellectualizer, noun
overintellectualization, noun
overintellectualize, verb, overintellectualized, overintellectualizing.
semi-intellectualized, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for intellectualise
Historical Examples
  • In Macaulay's time he used to be guided by his 'common-sense,' and to intellectualise the whole process.

    Human Nature In Politics Graham Wallas
  • Makers of new aristocracies are still, however, apt to intellectualise.

    Human Nature In Politics Graham Wallas
  • The Marching Men Movement was never a thing to intellectualise.

    Marching Men Sherwood Anderson
  • At this point it is already difficult not to intellectualise the whole process.

    Human Nature In Politics Graham Wallas
  • Yet could we sit and moralise, and intellectualise, for hours at this window, nor hear the striking clock.

  • The politician, however, is still apt to intellectualise impulse as completely as the schoolmaster did fifty years ago.

    Human Nature In Politics Graham Wallas
British Dictionary definitions for intellectualise


to make or become intellectual
(transitive) to treat or consider in an intellectual way; rationalize
Derived Forms
intellectualization, intellectualisation, noun
intellectualizer, intellectualiser, 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 intellectualise



1819, from intellectual + -ize. Related: Intellectualized; intellectualizing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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intellectualise in Medicine

intellectualize in·tel·lec·tu·al·ize (ĭn'tl-ěk'chōō-ə-līz')
v. in·tel·lec·tu·al·ized, in·tel·lec·tu·al·iz·ing, in·tel·lec·tu·al·iz·es

  1. To furnish a rational structure or meaning for.

  2. To engage in intellectualization.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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