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
  1. verb
    make as big or large as possible
    Maximize your profits!”
    synonyms: maximise
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    minimise, minimize
    make small or insignificant
    type of:
    make bigger or more
  2. verb
    make the most of
    “He maximized his role”
    synonyms: maximise
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    type of:
    exploit, tap
    draw from; make good use of
Word Family