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[nash-uh-nl-ahyz, nash-nuh-lahyz] /ˈnæʃ ə nlˌaɪz, ˈnæʃ nəˌlaɪz/
verb (used with object), nationalized, nationalizing.
to bring under the ownership or control of a nation, as industries and land:
a movement to nationalize the oil industry.
to make into a nation.
to naturalize.
to make national in extent or scope:
a magazine article that nationalized a local problem.
verb (used without object), nationalized, nationalizing.
to become nationalized or naturalized:
Those who remain in the country must nationalize.
Also, especially British, nationalise.
1790-1800; national + -ize
Related forms
nationalization, noun
nationalizer, noun
antinationalization, adjective
nonnationalization, noun
overnationalization, noun
overnationalize, verb (used with object), overnationalized, overnationalizing.
renationalization, noun
renationalize, verb, renationalized, renationalizing.
seminationalized, adjective
unnationalized, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for nationalization
  • Both countries and their people turned much poorer when the rich were killed through closure or nationalization.
  • The aim is not nationalization, but temporary relief.
  • It is a strange situation when it appears that outright nationalization might actually be cheaper for the taxpayer.
  • The first was in the debate over bank nationalization.
  • The case for nationalization rests on three observations.
  • And a financial system edging toward nationalization.
  • The nationalization process, high inflation, and foreign exchange controls had led to reduced private investment.
  • The unbundling must take place first, full de-nationalization second.
  • The motives for nationalization are political as well as economic.
  • A key issue in nationalization is payment of compensation to the former owner.
British Dictionary definitions for nationalization


/ˈnæʃənəˌlaɪz; ˈnæʃnə-/
verb (transitive)
to put (an industry, resources, etc) under state control or ownership
to make national in scope, character, or status
a less common word for naturalize
Derived Forms
nationalization, nationalisation, 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 nationalization

1801, "act of rendering national in character," from nationalize + -ation. Meaning "act of bringing (property) under control of the national government" is from 1874.



1800, "invest with a national character," from national + -ize. Meaning "bring under state control" is from 1869. Related: Nationalized; nationalizing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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nationalization in Culture

nationalization definition

The taking over of private property by a national government.

nationalization definition

A government takeover of a private business.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Article for nationalization

alteration or assumption of control or ownership of private property by the state. It is historically a more recent development than and differs in motive and degree from "expropriation" or "eminent domain," which is the right of government to take property for particular public purposes (such as the construction of roads, reservoirs, or hospitals), normally accompanied by the payment of compensation. Nationalization has often accompanied the implementation of communist or socialist theories of government, as was the case in the transfer of industrial, banking, and insurance enterprises to the state in Russia after 1918 and the nationalization of the coal, electricity, gas, and transport industries in the United Kingdom and France between 1945 and 1950. More recently, a further impetus has been resentment of foreign control over industries upon which the state may be largely dependent, as in the nationalization of the oil industries in Mexico in 1938 and Iran in 1951, and in the nationalization of foreign businesses in Cuba in 1960. A third motive for recent nationalizations may be the belief in some developing countries that state control of various industrial operations is at least temporarily necessary because of the lack of a developed capital market or supply of entrepreneurs in the domestic private sector.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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