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Is there such a word or concise paraphrase that corresponds? Optimize might have the same root but it obviously doesn't have the same meaning. Is there any verbal form that could fit or does optimism (and any other philosophy) imply a self state?

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How about an example or more context? – coleopterist Aug 24 '12 at 17:09
I think this is Not A Real Question. You can't make a thing "optimistic" - optimism is an attitude of mind, not an attribute you can bestow on inanimate objects. – FumbleFingers Aug 24 '12 at 17:37
@James Poulson: That's a devious example which doesn't specifically relate to the word "optimistic" (you could substitute "cheerful", for example). It doesn't mean the world itself became more cheerful/optimistic - it means the old man did (when he thought about the world, if you want to drag that noun in). – FumbleFingers Aug 24 '12 at 17:53
I can only suggest something along the lines of: "By cutting out all the articles that pleased him, the man brightened his world". _vivified, enlivened, vitalised, etc. could also be good fits. But I don't believe that they answer your requirements exactly. – coleopterist Aug 24 '12 at 17:59
The only phrase I can think of would be along the lines of "she put on rose-colored glasses". – Zairja Aug 24 '12 at 18:20
up vote 4 down vote accepted

Consider inspire:

To infuse into; to affect, as with a superior or supernatural influence; to fill with what animates, enlivens or exalts; to communicate inspiration to

Similarly, there is embolden, galvanize, kindle and so on.

As far as "conferring" one possibility includes sublimate ((archaic) to raise to a place of honor). You might also indoctrinate someone in a school of thought or impart your worldviews.

If you want a phrase, perhaps simply "she turned optimistic" would suffice.

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Most obvious is whitewash, “to cover over errors or bad actions”. Verb calcimine is a near-synonym for that, well-known but not commonly used. Less seriously, consider gloss over, rosetint and pangloss.

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Out of curiosity, do you have any instances of calcimine used in this metaphorical sense? – Zairja Aug 24 '12 at 20:57
@Zairja, I looked at length and didn't find any, but I'm sure they're out there. – jwpat7 Sep 23 '12 at 18:49

I'm still wondering what the something is that you're trying to make optimistic, but it seems that the common paraphrases are to inspire optimism or bring hope (to) or make optimal, depending on what you mean by 'something'.

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