Marginalize or marginalise vs minimize or minimise

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Marginalize or marginalise, and minimize or minimise, are words that are often confused. We will examine the difference between the definitions of marginalize or marginalise and minimize or minimise, where these words came from and some examples of their use in sentences.

Marginalize or marginalise means to treat someone as so unimportant that he exists outside the group. Someone who is marginalized is shunted to the periphery, his needs and wants deemed too unimportant to address. Marginalize is often used when discussing minority groups whose concerns are not being addressed by the larger population. Originally, the word marginalize was used to mean to make notes in the margins of a book or sheet of paper. In the 1960s, the figurative meaning came into use. The American spelling is marginalize, the British spelling is marginalise. Related words are marginalizes or marginalises, marginalized or marginalised, marginalizing or marginalising.

Minimize or minimise means to make something as small as possible, or  to present a problem, value or risk as less important or less significant than it really is. The word minimize came into use at the turn of the nineteenth century, related words are minimizes or minimises, minimized or minimised, minimizing or minimising. The American spelling is minimize, the British spelling is minimise.


If you’re going to marginalize a group of television viewers, it would be kids. (The Arkansas Times)

It is tempting to see the limited access as an especially Trumpian trouble, of a piece with an administration that has labored since day one to delegitimize and marginalize the press. (The Columbia Journalism Review)

A majority of Americans concerned about healthcare costs in retirement have taken steps to avoid or minimize their current medical expenses, a survey from the Nationwide Retirement Institute found. (Becker’s Hospital Review)

Novel oral anticoagulants (NOAC) have been found to minimise the risk of stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) to a large extent. (The Hindu)