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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.
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 optimizing
  • The time series econometrics taught did not presuppose optimizing behavior.
  • There has to be a way of optimizing population and the economic status of the society.
  • Countries should not fight for local maxima optimizing their job at cost of other countries.
  • Also, the developed world needs to cut his share of energy consumption by the way of optimizing his efficiency.
  • If optimizing growth is the goal, getting taxes as low as possible isn't the best strategy.
  • FedEx is also working on optimizing its delivery routes to ensure that giant trucks aren't driving around half empty.
  • From my perspective as a wheelchair puppet, life is a question of optimizing the brain-machine interface.
  • Innovators will focus on optimizing existing code, and major revisions will happen less frequently.
  • It's a fine company, but it failed to graduate from collecting and dispensing data to optimizing its value.
  • Neurologists are decades away from optimizing anything so precisely, and in fact they may never succeed.
British Dictionary definitions for optimizing


(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 optimizing



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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