Definition of medicalize in English:


Syllabification: med·i·cal·ize
Pronunciation: /ˈmedikəˌlīz


[with object]
  • View (something) in medical terms; treat as a medical problem, especially unwarrantedly: doctors tend to medicalize manifestations of distress, prescribing drugs such as sleeping tablets
    More example sentences
    • According to Illich, doctors had medicalized various aspects of life, including ageing, death, pain, patients' expectations, and healing and preventive therapies.
    • Hence the tendency to medicalise it, treat it as a health problem.
    • His comments prompt questions about whether raising awareness of social anxiety disorder may in fact be medicalising shyness.



Pronunciation: /ˌmedikələˈzāSHən/
More example sentences
  • Early diagnosis of the disease might unleash a process of premature medicalisation.
  • However, medicalisation of traumatic human suffering runs the risk of reducing it to a technical problem.
  • The medicalisation of modern society has already deskilled many other professions and led patients into an unhealthy dependence on medical care.


1970s: from medical + -ize.

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