Definition of civilize in English:

civilize

verb

[WITH OBJECT]usually as adjective civilized
  • 1Bring (a place or people) to a stage of social, cultural, and moral development considered to be more advanced.

    ‘a civilized society’
    • ‘Social reformers believed that carefully designed settlements would curb many of these excesses, help to civilise the navvy and improve his work rate.’
    • ‘The teens take the opportunity to refine and civilize the primitive man, and to give him the appreciation of modern education.’
    • ‘This program posts news to thousands of machines throughout the entire civilized world.’
    • ‘He is a man of plain words, impatient with metaphor, fascinated by the structure of the land and evidence of early attempts to cultivate and civilise it.’
    • ‘Both countries have a spying and military heritage, and both feel they have a mission to civilise the world.’
    • ‘Abandoning humanity's civilising journey would surrender the world to the aggressors who rule by fear.’
    • ‘It is the public places that civilize our cities.’
    • ‘They must take the lead in civilising our streets and reclaiming them for local communities.’
    • ‘The question is: will acting out a social comedy in this colony really help to civilise them?’
    • ‘There is clearly a major confrontation at the moment about how we in Australia find our own way to civilize global capital.’
    • ‘Both responded to the story of Rome as the endlessly fascinating adventures of a people who thought of themselves as having a mission to civilize the world.’
    • ‘At times like these, I feel the urge to move away from home and try to find a more civilized environment to live in.’
    • ‘Moreover, through the use of space, light, colour and reinterpretation of archetypal forms such as modestly scaled internal courtyards, it manages to humanize and civilize workplace life.’
    • ‘His study begins with the apparent golden age of the press, when the press was, or rather thought itself to be, the chief instrument in the attempt to improve the people and to civilize society.’
    • ‘It is the way we have tried to civilise the world and we must not forget that.’
    • ‘They must tame it, accompany it, humanise it, civilise it.’
    • ‘Imbued with the poetics of nature, comfort, wisdom and healing, it also recalls the heroic curved timber bridges of earlier eras that helped to link and civilise Canada's vast hinterland.’
    • ‘I think we can civilise global capital, provided we realize who the beneficiaries are, and as I say, they are the trade union members, the pensioners, the workers.’
    • ‘Now we need to apply that partnership further to improve Britain and make it a more civilised place.’
    • ‘All civilized societies should provide aid to those unable to obtain the means of subsistence.’
    enlighten, edify, educate, instruct, refine, cultivate, polish, sophisticate, socialize, humanize
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1as adjective civilized Polite and well-mannered.
      ‘such an affront to civilized behavior will no longer be tolerated’
      • ‘This gives the school a decent chance of operating in a civilised, self respecting environment.’
      • ‘Are we in fact enacting their revenge in a civilized way so that they don't have to go out there and do it in a primitive manner?’
      • ‘Sitting their sons down in a civilized manner, they announce their intention to separate.’
      • ‘Eventually, I think he will accept a deal, but he's got to play by civilized rules.’
      • ‘Two hours later, I was on my way out in a much more civilized manner than I made my way in.’
      • ‘We stuffed ourselves silly when the pizza arrived, of course in a civilized manner.’
      • ‘If you don't like what someone has to say, then engage them in a civilized discussion.’
      • ‘That's kind of the civilized way to do it when there's not a great deal of animosity.’
      • ‘So long as one nurses the hope of civilized co-existence, one tries to come to terms with the ground realities.’
      • ‘He not only wants the best food, he wants to be handled in a civilized manner, too.’
      • ‘But she held it in and calmed down, as any civilized and respectable queen should do.’
      • ‘Training a child to sit at table and eat food in a civilized manner is one of the basic rituals of culture.’
      • ‘We are willing to do it in a civilized way, but within a sensible time framework.’
      • ‘So it is time to have a dialogue and sort out the problems in civilized ways.’
      • ‘So it is in our interest to demonstrate to them why it would be to their benefit to play by civilized rules.’
      • ‘It was a very civilized process and that seemed to anger a lot of people.’
      • ‘I am pleased that we are able to undertake a polite, civilised and rational exchange of views.’
      polite, courteous, well mannered, good mannered, civil, decorous, gentlemanly, ladylike, gracious
      View synonyms

Origin

Early 17th century: from French civiliser, from civil ‘civil’.

Pronunciation

civilize

/ˈsivəˌlīz//ˈsɪvəˌlaɪz/