Definition of internalize in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /inˈtərnlˌīz/


[with object]
1 Psychology Make (attitudes or behavior) part of one’s nature by learning or unconscious assimilation.
Example sentences
  • Of course many of us have internalized toxic attitudes such as racism and homophobia, Gage writes.
  • This is the key to internalizing the gratitude attitude.
  • Depression is seen by many as something shameful or embarrassing, and it's very easy to internalize that attitude.
1.1Acquire knowledge of (the rules of a language).
Example sentences
  • This silent period helps them internalize the rules of the language they are exposed to.
  • Not that they don't want to help, man, they always do, and they always try, but since they were born with the language, they have internalized all the rules and pattern and exception.
  • Both deconstruction and structuralism asserted that people are culturally and socially constructed, and that they internalize culture much in the same way that they internalize a natural language.
2 Economics Incorporate (costs) as part of a pricing structure, especially social costs resulting from the manufacture and use of a product.
Example sentences
  • You could say we should internalize those costs in prices, so that it affects people's behaviour.
  • Before the Coase Theorem, the prevailing view in economics was government intervention in the form of taxes on externalities, forcing the polluter to internalize costs borne by others.
  • Without private property, the incentives that economic actors face will not be such to internalize the costs and benefits of decisions and as a result economic decisions will not be as prudent as they otherwise would be.



Pronunciation: /inˌtərn(ə)ləˈzāSH(ə)n/
Pronunciation: /inˌtərn(ə)lˌīˈzāSH(ə)n/
Example sentences
  • The willingness with which citizens pay taxes is one of the best indicators of the internalization of the social contract, of the sort of stability that is necessary for investment and economic progress.
  • They believe that the internalization of the message of Islam can bring about the social transformation necessary for the establishment of the virtuous city.
  • The internalization of dollars as markers for human worth and artistic achievement has insidiously skewed how we view the meaning of culture and creativity.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: in·ter·nal·ize

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.