transitive verb-·lized·, -·liz·ing
- to bring out of a primitive or savage condition and into a state of civilization
- to improve in habits or manners; refine
Origin of civilizeFrench civiliser from Classical Latin civilis: see civil and -ize: literally , to make citified
transitive verbciv·i·lized, civ·i·liz·ing, civ·i·liz·es
- To raise from barbarism to an enlightened stage of development; bring out of a primitive or savage state.
- To educate in matters of culture and refinement; make more polished or sophisticated.
(third-person singular simple present civilizes, present participle civilizing, simple past and past participle civilized)
- Alternative spelling of civilise.