When you realise something, it becomes clear to you. Brits spell this word with an "s," while Americans will replace the "s" with a "z." We hope you realise this difference if you are editing a Brit's writing.

All the meanings of realise amount to making something “real” in some way. If you realise a plan, you make it happen. If you realise a fact, you see its truth. If you realise the seriousness of a situation, you become aware of its dangers. Since this word was originally borrowed from the French réaliser (meaning "make real"), we can understand why the Brits spell it r-e-a-l-i-s-e with an "s."

Definitions of realise
  1. verb
    be fully aware or cognizant of
    synonyms: agnise, agnize, realize, recognise, recognize
    see moresee less
    know the nature or character of
    type of:
    cognise, cognize, know
    be cognizant or aware of a fact or a specific piece of information; possess knowledge or information about
  2. verb
    perceive (an idea or situation) mentally
    synonyms: realize, see, understand
    envision, fancy, figure, image, picture, project, see, visualise, visualize
    imagine; conceive of; see in one's mind
    see and understand, have a good eye
    see moresee less
    become conscious of
    appreciate, take account
    be fully aware of; realize fully
    sense, smell, smell out
    become aware of not through the senses but instinctively
  3. verb
    make real or concrete; give reality or substance to
    synonyms: actualise, actualize, realize, substantiate
    see moresee less
    make concrete and real
    manifest the effects of (a gene or genetic trait)
    type of:
    create, make
    make or cause to be or to become
  4. verb
    earn on some commercial or business transaction; earn as salary or wages
    synonyms: bring in, clear, earn, gain, make, pull in, realize, take in
    act in a certain way so as to acquire
    clear, net, sack, sack up
    make as a net profit
    see moresee less
    show 13 types...
    hide 13 types...
    eke out, squeeze out
    make by laborious and precarious means
    profit, turn a profit
    make a profit; gain money or materially
    rake off
    take money from an illegal transaction
    bring home, take home
    earn as a salary or wage
    rake in, shovel in
    earn large sums of money
    earn before taxes, expenses, etc.
    bear, pay, yield
    bring in
    line one's pockets
    make a lot of money
    turn a nice dime, turn a nice dollar, turn a nice penny
    make a satisfactory profit
    clean up
    make a big profit; often in a short period of time
    clear, net
    yield as a net profit
    pay off
    yield a profit or result
    use something as a source of income or profit
    type of:
    acquire, get
    come into the possession of something concrete or abstract
  5. verb
    convert into cash; of goods and property
    synonyms: realize
    see moresee less
    type of:
    exchange or deliver for money or its equivalent
  6. verb
    expand or complete (a part in a piece of baroque music) by supplying the harmonies indicated in the figured bass
    synonyms: realize
    see moresee less
    type of:
    harmonise, harmonize
    write a harmony for
Word Family

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 700+
  • Duration: 10 weeks
  • Time: 1 hour / week