from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • transitive verb To offer incentives or an incentive to; motivate.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb transitive, US, business, economics To provide incentives for; to encourage.
  • verb transitive, US, business, economics To provide incentives to.


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

incentive +‎ -ize


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  • The only difference is that it would "incentivize" those who are in Mankiw's position as well as his "fellow motorists" to preserve gasoline.

    Greg Mankiw Pumps for a Higher Gas Tax, Arnold Kling | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty 2009

  • The real reason for raising or reducing marginal tax rates is to "incentivize" behavior.

    Jodie Allen: Death for Sale 2010

  • Finally, I don't think anyone can "incentivize" anything since that is not a word used in the English language.

    Exclusive Video: Is This the Walking Record Whitetail? 2008

  • Finally, the feds could choose to pressure ( "incentivize") states and cities to straighten out their own affairs through loans to which they attach stringent conditions.

    Unfunded Public Pensions 2010

  • BORGER: ... by a Treasury source that they're looking for ways to kind of incentivize responsible lending, so that maybe this -- the lending would ease up from the banks, because the banks, as Candy points out, are rightly asking, look, we were too loose back then.

    CNN Transcript Dec 11, 2009 2009

  • In both cases, if the couple (in social context, overwhelmingly, mother) decides not to do what the government is offering the money to "incentivize" them to do, they are penalized $20,000, winding up with an effective after tax income of $50,000.

    Linda Hirshman: Ross Douthat Watch Lesson One: Money Is Fungible 2009

  • Sure, we can "incentivize" against the current form of corporate bad behavior, but then we can just sit back and wait for that bad behavior to morph into a new, perhaps more sophisticated form.

    Barry Schwartz: What Work Is and What It Can Be 2009

  • If the plan really paralleled Treasury Secretary's Timothy Geithner's proposal for dealing with Wall Street's toxic assets, it would "incentivize" the hedge funds to buy up hundreds of thousands or millions of cars, and hold them for later sale, when the overall economy improves.

    Robert Weissman: What if the Obama Administration Treated Detroit like Wall Street? 2009

  • And with that, Hillary left open the question each of the major candidates need to answer: If the insurance industry is the problem, do we want them to be the centerpiece of an expanded system of subsidies and regulations to try to "incentivize" or force them to cover everyone?

    Roger Hickey: Universal Care: Getting The Right Mix 2008

  • Hence IIE's president Allen Goodman's admiration for Carnegie-Mellon and Texas A&M, which he says "incentivize" it, and for NYU's Dr. Sexton, who "is talking about sending every professor and student to Doha."

    An American Education, Closer to Home 2008


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  • This is not a G@D@#$%! word!!!

    June 11, 2009

  • "He says he’s familiar with the album but he thought we were getting on the phone to talk about incentivizing heavy users in order to optimize the network resources blah blah and I’m like, Dude, if you ever use the word incentivize around me again I swear I will get in my Gulfstream and fly to wherever you are and I will smash you in the face with a rock."

    -Fake Steve Jobs

    December 12, 2009