Meaning of “privatize” in the English Dictionary

"privatize" in British English

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privatizeverb [ T ]

UK usually privatise uk /ˈpraɪ.və.taɪz/ us /ˈpraɪ.və.taɪz/
noun [ U ] UK usually privatisation uk /ˌpraɪ.və.taɪˈzeɪ.ʃən/ us /ˌpraɪ.və.t̬əˈzeɪ.ʃən/


  • The unions are in opposition to the government over the issue of privatization.
  • An early example of privatization was the enclosure of public land for private use by wealthy landlords.

The last few years have seen the privatization of many industries previously owned by the state.

(Definition of “privatize” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"privatize" in American English

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privatizeverb [ T ]

us /ˈprɑɪ·vəˌtɑɪz/

privatize verb [ T ] (MAKE INDEPENDENT)

social studies (of an industry, company, or service) to change from being owned by a government to being owned and controlled independently

noun [ U ] us /ˌprɑɪ·vət̬·əˈzeɪ·ʃən/

the privatization of the British steel industry

(Definition of “privatize” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"privatize" in Business English

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privatizeverb [ I or T ]

UK also privatise uk /ˈpraɪvɪtaɪz/ us

ECONOMICS, GOVERNMENT if the government privatizes companies and organizations that it owns, it sells them to private investors:

The conglomerate calls itself the world's largest water company and has been a pioneer in the trend toward privatizing government water services.


(Definition of “privatize” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)