Find the word definition

The Collaborative International Dictionary

Civilize \Civ"i*lize\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Civilized; p. pr. & vb. n. Civilizing.] [Cf. F. civilizer, fr.L. civilis civil. See Civil.]

  1. To reclaim from a savage state; to instruct in the rules and customs of civilization; to educate; to refine.

    Yet blest that fate which did his arms dispose Her land to civilize, as to subdue.

  2. To admit as suitable to a civilized state. [Obs. or R.] ``Civilizing adultery.''

    Syn: To polish; refine; humanize.


vb. (present participle of civilize English)

Usage examples of "civilizing".

It would last a thousand years and send its civilizing influence far to the south and west.

All that is really clear, apart from a bare outline of Kushite rise and fall, is that this civilization was crucially important not only to the social evolution of the Sudan itself, but also to the growth and spread of civilizing ideas and technologies throughout much of continental Africa to the west and south.

Sao in the neighborhood of Lake Chad, there is both an end to the civilizing trail which had led from the valley of the Nile and the beginning of another civilization.

But out of their fusion with these migrants there came the peoples who would make the state of Kanem and the Kanembu nation and these would prove as influential and important as civilizing and centralizing pressures on the varied peoples to the east of the Niger as Mali proved to be on those to the west.

It would bring the ancient people of those distant plains and hills within the civilizing circuit of the outside world.

Azanians were overwhelmed and their civilizing growth stultified and brought to an end.

Perhaps, if women had the open privilege of selection, many a good fellow would be rescued from miserable isolation, and perhaps also many a noble woman whom chance, or a stationary position, or the inertia of the other sex, has left to bloom alone, and waste her sweetness on relations, would be the centre of a charming home, furnishing the finest spectacle seen in this uphill world --a woman exercising gracious hospitality, and radiating to a circle far beyond her home the influence of her civilizing personality.

Why attempt to civilize the race within our doors, while there are so many distant and alien races to whom we ought to turn our civilizing attention?

For by now the civilizing mission, which was the ostensible motive of all their heroic adventures, would have become a rigid obsession.

On the other hand, the future of the parent race of the American Negro in the dark continent is bright with hope from its ready assimilation of the civilizing agencies of European civilization.

Once there is established the differential between the pure, civilized European and the corrupt, barbarous Other, there is possible not only a civilizing process from disease to health, but also ineluctably the reverse process, from health to disease.

Contagion is the constant and present danger, the dark underside of the civilizing mission.

All the legends agreed, furthermore, that he had carried out his civilizing mission with great kindness and as far as possible had abjured the use of force: careful instruction and personal example had been the main methods used to equip the people with the techniques and knowledge necessary for a cultured and productive life.

Tupinamba Indians of Brazil venerated a series of civilizing or creator heroes.

Part VII, Osiris was in many respects the Egyptian counterpart of Viracocha and Quetzalcoatl, the civilizing deities of the Andes and of Central America.