Definition of optimize in US English:



[with object]
  • 1Make the best or most effective use of (a situation, opportunity, or resource)

    ‘to optimize viewing conditions, the microscope should be correctly adjusted’
    • ‘The exclusion of such men optimises the effectiveness of screening by increasing the level of participation.’
    • ‘It is a standard assumption in plant ecology that plants respond to their environment in such a way as to optimize their resource use.’
    • ‘High achievement for diverse groups of learners is an outcome of the skilled and cumulative pedagogical actions of a teacher in creating and optimising an effective learning environment.’
    • ‘The council is to set up an Olympic Games Committee to optimise all possible opportunities emanating from the London games.’
    • ‘So we need to be able to look at things broadly and regionally so we can optimize the right resources.’
    • ‘Democracy is messy and does not guarantee outcomes that optimize the life circumstances of those it empowers.’
    • ‘There is generally no need to stop drinking alcohol before pregnancy, although couples with infertility problems should cut it out to optimise their chances.’
    • ‘But we have to consider how best to optimize our resources and find our way back to the enormous success we have had in previous years.’
    • ‘Dr Hamilton, Author of Passing Exams says that having good self-esteem should optimise your chances in the exam hall.’
    • ‘However, optimizing your chances of properly filtering the information you receive is critical.’
    • ‘When used as part of a comprehensive greens-management program, Micro-Gro Plus reduces the need for fertilizers and fungicides, and optimizes playing conditions.’
    • ‘In the lab, we optimized conditions and ran all the reactions in the same thermal cycler.’
    • ‘This lack of data constrains the ability of policy makers to choose a mix of deterrents that optimises program effectiveness.’
    • ‘Early identification of children at risk for reading failure optimizes the chances for effective intervention.’
    • ‘To optimise the effectiveness of your company's website, you must firstly identify the keywords of most relevance to the products or services you offer.’
    • ‘These research priorities involve addressing poverty through the integrated development of rural and urban areas, optimising human resources and understanding the new economy.’
    • ‘The plan was to optimise the resources of land, real estate, roads, and other utilities to streamline development.’
    • ‘In an earlier article, we highlighted how to optimize stock to deal with the uncertainty in forecasting demand.’
    • ‘But I have stabilised, and I have optimised my chances of living on into a reasonable old age.’
    • ‘Ms. Shyam believes that by using alternative energy and recycling as much as possible, the institute can optimise use of its resources.’
    1. 1.1Computing Rearrange or rewrite (data, software, etc.) to improve efficiency of retrieval or processing.
      • ‘A search engine optimizes the retrieval process by indexing.’
      • ‘The Swiss researchers have simply optimised the process, developing a demo programme than can crack Windows passwords more quickly.’
      • ‘Pending this innovation, there is need for validated search strategies for systematic reviews that optimise retrieval for clinical users and researchers.’
      • ‘But this only affects a small part of the project, which you can optimize or even rewrite.’
      • ‘This improved performance and optimized data analysis will enable better decisions and provide a competitive edge.’


Early 19th century: from Latin optimus ‘best’ + -ize.