Definition of vulgarize in US English:


(British vulgarise)


[with object]
  • 1Make less refined.

    ‘her voice, vulgarized by its accent, was full of caressing tones’
    • ‘Hip-hop's black essentialism and ‘keepin’ it real’ proclamations are vulgarized, even mocked by Lee's humorous and satirical photographs.’
    • ‘I like sexy clothes of course but they should not be vulgarised.’
    • ‘Yet to add words to it to direct the viewer, as some people did, vulgarized it.’
    • ‘‘'Clothing should glorify, not vulgarize, the body,’ Beene said in a 1996 interview with The Times-Picayune.’
    • ‘Even though they might have chosen to act as surrogates, the motives of these women would have been commercial, and the whole enterprise seemed to trivialize and vulgarize childbirth.’
    • ‘Perhaps Spoilheap readers might like to suggest advertisers to vulgarise the monuments of our own fair land?’
    • ‘The glory of the samurai sword, vulgarised to the point of farce in Tarantino's Kill Bill, is treated with respect, even awe.’
    • ‘The golden period of Newlyn was over by the turn of the century; thereafter it was vulgarized by an influx of inferior talent, and St Ives came to have a greater attraction for 20th-century artists.’
    • ‘The language has been popularized, but has not yet vindicated itself from being vulgarized.’
    • ‘A deal was made, and On the Buses was brought to the screen by Hammer in a film that, instead of attempting to broaden and strengthen its TV source, merely inflated and further vulgarized it.’
    • ‘They give in to the temptation of adding scenes which only vulgarise the relationship.’
    • ‘It's far from a single-issue film, and never romanticizes, vulgarizes or trivializes Josie's coming of age.’
    • ‘The well-known paper boards of the three-volume novel no longer vulgarized the place; a goodly array of standard works, well-bound, showed a more respectable and conventional ambition.’
    • ‘Such hateful speech vulgarizes our culture and goes against everything the University of St. Thomas stands for.’
    • ‘The evidence suggests that while displaying the breasts was supposed to be an upper-class affair, it had been vulgarised and imitated by lower-class women, aspiring to courtly fashion.’
    simplify, make accessible, give mass-market appeal to, familiarize
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Make commonplace or less subtle or complex.
      ‘they were attacked for vulgarizing the debate’
      • ‘She had called it pilaf, we Glaswegianised the name and, I suspect, vulgarised the recipe.’
      • ‘We're more worried about the gross abuses and gross exaggerations of these ideas which originated in philosophy of science but which have trickled down in vulgarised form to anthropology and cultural studies.’
      • ‘Their ideas, vulgarized, tended to inspire and reinforce that obsession with the occult and the mystical which became noticeable in St Petersburg society.’
      • ‘It is applied to creations whose artistic content is considered false, pretentious, or vulgarized, lacking in profundity and designed expressly to please, generally for commercial ends.’
      • ‘‘The ‘great’ national historian Macaulay,’ Trotsky wrote, ‘vulgarises the social drama of the seventeenth century by obscuring the inner struggle of forces with platitudes that are sometimes interesting but always superficial.’’
      • ‘In the process, his analysis has been vulgarised into the rhetoric of a war on terrorism.’
      • ‘For him, endlessly violent modern films have vulgarised red blood and made it meaningless.’
      • ‘We allowed our colleges and universities to be secularized, and our beautiful liturgy to be vulgarized to the point where it often seems like an especially vulgar karaoke night.’
      • ‘Thus, the overall impression of the exhibition is one of, first, the European tradition of Orientalist painting taken up by American artists, then vulgarized in a broader and somehow more innocent American culture.’
      • ‘The style is at least a century old and has deep folkloric roots, but it is the late, vulgarized form that is at issue.’
      • ‘It was perhaps inevitable that so successful an intellectual entrepreneur would be vulgarized.’
      • ‘It wasn't especially avant-garde, per se, but it demonstrated her ability to take a simple design and make it all the more special without vulgarizing the base design vision.’
      • ‘There are those who condemn it as mob rule that vulgarises society and as a belief that tolerates mediocrity and incompetence.’
      • ‘It looks like Larry is using this simplified and vulgarized version of economics as his basic backdrop, upon which, by throwing in some references from original sources here and there, he builds up his argument.’
      • ‘This expansion was justified by pseudoscientific argument, grounded in a vulgarized version of Darwin, the ‘survival of the fittest.’’
      • ‘Fra Filippo thought that they vulgarised intellectual life, did not really understand what they were doing, and made spelling mistakes and typographical errors.’
      • ‘For horticultural purists, the news will be seen as further evidence that the noble art of gardening is being vulgarised and reduced to yet another manifestation of our modern obsession with lifestyle and consumerism.’