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[op-tuh-mahyz] /ˈɒp təˌmaɪz/
verb (used with object), optimized, optimizing.
to make as effective, perfect, or useful as possible.
to make the best of.
Computers. to write or rewrite (the instructions in a program) so as to maximize efficiency and speed in retrieval, storage, or execution.
Mathematics. to determine the maximum or minimum values of (a specified function that is subject to certain constraints).
verb (used without object), optimized, optimizing.
to be optimistic.
Also, especially British, optimise.
Origin of optimize
1835-45; optim(um) + -ize
Can be confused
maximize, optimize. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for optimise
  • We need to optimise the design and build a fleet of these rovers.
  • Simply put, hypnosis is a way to optimise your ability to do what you want to do.
  • Now it will increasingly be used to automate and optimise interactions with the physical environment.
  • Each module is fitted with its own, personal electronic management system to optimise its charging and discharging rates.
  • But products to optimise both supply and demand are only now being developed.
  • We do not optimise our environment so that there is an abundance of food.
  • The problem with markets, of course, is that they only optimise outcomes when certain well-known conditions are met.
British Dictionary definitions for optimise


(transitive) to take the full advantage of
(transitive) to plan or carry out (an economic activity) with maximum efficiency
(intransitive) to be optimistic
(transitive) to write or modify (a computer program) to achieve maximum efficiency in storage capacity, time, cost, etc
(transitive) to find the best compromise among several often conflicting requirements, as in engineering design
Derived Forms
optimization, optimisation, 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 optimise



1844, "to act as an optimist," back-formation from optimist. Meaning "to make the most of" is first recorded 1857. Related: Optimized; optimizing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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optimise in Technology

To perform optimisation.

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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