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’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Nisha Ganatra finds far too many filmmakers willing to exoticize their own culture to fit the needs of the mainstream audience.’
    • ‘Autobiographies which exoticize Asian culture reinforce the otherness of Asians in the eyes of white America.’
    • ‘Besides the difference in social register, the setting is also removed from tradition-bound England and is now the exoticized Far East.’
    • ‘But they do tend to exoticize all things Indian and African, including their dead.’
    • ‘I don't mean to exoticize these women and elevate them to superheroine status.’
    • ‘Where other anthropologists exoticised or patronised, Firth humanised the people about whom he wrote.’
    • ‘But there are moments when I am exoticized just like any other foreigner.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘These alliances frequently lead to peril and the narrative tends to exoticize the foreigners.’
    • ‘"What do you think the average Japanese kid thinks about America's, you know, exoticized fascination with Japan?"’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Do you have any interest in the sort of exoticized representations of Egypt we're used to seeing?’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Much of that material romanticizes and exoticizes the real pain of social marginalization.’
    • ‘In the long run, this representation is just as exoticizing as any other, even if it appears less negative.’
    • ‘He seems both attracted and repulsed by the exoticized version of her that he imagines.’
    • ‘She criticises the way in which minorities are exoticised by the dominant culture.’
    • ‘At each of these levels, postcards created an "exoticized" sexuality.’


1960s: from exotic + -ize.