When you maximize something, you make it as big as you possibly can, the way you would maximize your chances of winning the lottery if you spent all of your money on lottery tickets.

It seems like you come across the word maximize most often in dry, boring contexts like businesses trying to "maximize" their profits or a politician wanting to "maximize" her government's potential. Regular people probably use it more often when they're talking about their computers, to mean "display a window at its largest size." When you maximize a window on your computer, you can actually see what the word means!

Definitions of maximize

v make as big or large as possible

Maximize your profits!”
minimise, minimize
make small or insignificant
Type of:
make bigger or more

v make the most of

“He maximized his role”
Type of:
exploit, tap
draw from; make good use of

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.