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[in-tur-nl-ahyz] /ɪnˈtɜr nlˌaɪz/
verb (used with object), internalized, internalizing.
to incorporate (the cultural values, mores, motives, etc., of another or of a group), as through learning, socialization, or identification.
to make subjective or give a subjective character to.
Linguistics. to acquire (a linguistic rule, structure, etc.) as part of one's language competence.
Also, especially British, internalise.
Origin of internalize
1940-45; internal + -ize
Related forms
internalization, noun
quasi-internalized, adjective
semi-internalized, adjective
uninternalized, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for internalize
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It was difficult to internalize in an environment both objective and external.

    Edgar Saltus: The Man Marie Saltus
British Dictionary definitions for internalize


(transitive) (psychol, sociol) to make internal, esp to incorporate within oneself (values, attitudes, etc) through learning or socialization Also interiorize Compare introject
Derived Forms
internalization, internalisation, 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 internalize

1856, American English, from internal + -ize. Related: Internalized; internalizing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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internalize in Medicine

internalize in·ter·nal·ize (ĭn-tûr'nə-līz')
v. in·ter·nal·ized, in·ter·nal·iz·ing, in·ter·nal·iz·es

  1. To make internal, personal, or subjective.

  2. To take in and adopt as an integral part of one's attitudes or beliefs.

in·ter'nal·i·za'tion (-nə-lĭ-zā'shən) n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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