Definition of denationalize in English:


(British denationalise)


[with object]
  • 1Transfer (a nationalized industry or institution) from public to private ownership.

    ‘an attempt to denationalize the state monopolies’
    • ‘‘The not-for-profit sector should take up the challenge and denationalise compassion’, he added.’
    • ‘The administration is proposing a reorganization that denationalizes operations of the national railroad.’
    • ‘A person could be denationalized for, among other things, advocating the overthrow of the government by force or violence.’
    • ‘The independence of the judiciary and the slow rate of denationalising of state industries were highlighted as areas which needed improvement.’
    • ‘State enterprises were first ‘restructured, ‘- i.e., surplus personnel removed - and then denationalised, which was accompanied by mass redundancies.’’
    • ‘Only a third of the economy has been denationalised, which is not considered enough by a long chalk.’
    • ‘Its advocates have urged African countries to privatize and denationalize a wide swath of government services and industries traditionally run by the state.’
    • ‘To prepare the terrain for a genuine emancipation, there is a need for founding social sciences and knowledge on bases that are decolonized, denationalized.’
    • ‘Well then: refund our taxes, denationalize the roads.’
    • ‘The picture he draws is not one of corporations denationalized by economic integration and states whose powers have been eroded, as in much current writing on globalization.’
    • ‘In parallel, state-owned industry was rapidly denationalized and an army of unemployed established.’
    • ‘It is the kind of combination that I would describe as a partial denationalizing of some of the functions and work of state institutions.’
    private, public, non-state-controlled, non-state-run, non-public, private-sector, private-enterprise, fee-paying, commercial
    View synonyms
  • 2Deprive (a country or person) of nationality or national characteristics.

    ‘a state that had been largely denationalized within the European Community’
    ‘would those denationalized persons reaffirm the need for separate states?’
    • ‘Brownell, a 1958 case, the Court rejected a constitutional challenge to a provision of the 1940 law that denationalized American citizens for voting in foreign elections.’


Early 19th century (in denationalize (sense 2)): from French dénationaliser (a word of the French Revolution), from dé- (expressing reversal) + nationaliser ‘nationalize’.