verb (used with object), re·al·ized, re·al·iz·ing.

  1. to grasp or understand clearly.
  2. to make real; give reality to (a hope, fear, plan, etc.).
  3. to bring vividly to the mind.
  4. to convert into cash or money: to realize securities.
  5. to obtain as a profit or income for oneself by trade, labor, or investment.
  6. to bring as proceeds, as from a sale: The goods realized $1000.
  7. Music. to sight-read on a keyboard instrument or write out in notation the full harmony and ornamentation indicated by (a figured bass).
  8. Linguistics. to serve as an instance, representation, or embodiment of (an abstract linguistic element or category): In “Jack tripped,” the subject is realized by “Jack,” the predicate by “tripped,” and the past tense by “-ed.”

verb (used without object), re·al·ized, re·al·iz·ing.

  1. to convert property or goods into cash or money.


  1. (when tr, may take a clause as object) to become conscious or aware of (something)
  2. (tr, often passive) to bring (a plan, ambition, etc) to fruition; make actual or concrete
  3. (tr) to give (something, such as a drama or film) the appearance of reality
  4. (tr) (of goods, property, etc) to sell for or make (a certain sum)this table realized £800
  5. (tr) to convert (property or goods) into cash
  6. (tr) (of a musicologist or performer)
    1. to expand or complete (a thorough-bass part in a piece of baroque music) by supplying the harmonies indicated in the figured bass
    2. to reconstruct (a composition) from an incomplete set of parts
  7. to sound or utter (a phoneme or other speech sound) in actual speech; articulate

1610s, “bring into existence,” from French réaliser “make real” (16c.), from Middle French real “actual” (see real (adj.)). Sense of “understand clearly, make real in the mind” is first recorded 1775. Sense of “obtain, amass” is from 1753. Related: Realized; realizing.

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