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Definition of "externalize" [ex•ter•nal•ize]

  • To make external. (verb-transitive)
  • To manifest externally: "Marriage is a nice way to externalize the private commitments made between you” ( Patti Davis). (verb-transitive)
  • To attribute to outside causes. (verb-transitive)
  • To project or attribute (inner conflicts or feelings) to external circumstances or causes. (verb-transitive)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "externalize" in a sentence
  • "They're also unwittingly suffering from our economic system's lack of full-cost accounting, which has made it perfectly acceptable for companies to "externalize" their negative social and environmental impacts and shift the burdens of these impacts, financial and otherwise, to society at large."
  • "I would think that it was in the millions or billions of dollars - costs that the companies simply "externalize" onto the environment, and thus onto everybody else, while keeping all the "profits" - "profits" in quotes because the money made is actually stolen from everybody else."
  • "It also pushes businesses to cut worker safety protections, cut product quality, cut customer service, "externalize" costs by polluting, etc."