Definition of exoticize in US English:


(British exoticise)


[with object]
  • Portray (someone or something unfamiliar) as exotic or unusual; romanticize or glamorize.

    ‘importantly, the film doesn't exoticize the East’
    • ‘In the long run, this representation is just as exoticizing as any other, even if it appears less negative.’
    • ‘Besides the difference in social register, the setting is also removed from tradition-bound England and is now the exoticized Far East.’
    • ‘She criticises the way in which minorities are exoticised by the dominant culture.’
    • ‘Do you have any interest in the sort of exoticized representations of Egypt we're used to seeing?’
    • ‘Nisha Ganatra finds far too many filmmakers willing to exoticize their own culture to fit the needs of the mainstream audience.’
    • ‘"What do you think the average Japanese kid thinks about America's, you know, exoticized fascination with Japan?"’
    • ‘Much of that material romanticizes and exoticizes the real pain of social marginalization.’
    • ‘Reviewers of his novels in India have long complained that his exoticised India-English dialogues glamorise the harsh realities of life in the former British colony.’
    • ‘But there are moments when I am exoticized just like any other foreigner.’
    • ‘Autobiographies which exoticize Asian culture reinforce the otherness of Asians in the eyes of white America.’
    • ‘We can probably put a positive spin on Cousins' assertion, emphasising that the attractiveness of the "Asian aesthetic" paradoxically exposes the inherent racial/sexual discrimination and the tendency to exoticise the other in Hollywood cinema.’
    • ‘I don't mean to exoticize these women and elevate them to superheroine status.’
    • ‘Many contemporary writers would argue that the situation has not changed radically, in spite of a publishing industry that seems occasionally drawn to exoticizing those ethnic writers it deems marketable.’
    • ‘These alliances frequently lead to peril and the narrative tends to exoticize the foreigners.’
    • ‘In his book Orientalism, Edward Said points out that foreign cultures are set up as being different, backward and separate by the unconscious desire to mystify and exoticise their behaviour, history and geography.’
    • ‘He seems both attracted and repulsed by the exoticized version of her that he imagines.’
    • ‘But they do tend to exoticize all things Indian and African, including their dead.’
    • ‘At each of these levels, postcards created an "exoticized" sexuality.’
    • ‘Where other anthropologists exoticised or patronised, Firth humanised the people about whom he wrote.’
    • ‘His greatest achievement was to make an unfamiliar setting utterly believable by not exoticising Russia but instead using mundane, everyday details which give the reader an authentic feel of the place, people and culture.’


1960s: from exotic + -ize.