con·​tex·​tu·​al·​ize | \ kən-ˈteks-chə-wə-ˌlīz How to pronounce contextualize (audio) , -chə-ˌlīz, -chü-ə- \
contextualized; contextualizing

Definition of contextualize

transitive verb

: to place (something, such as a word or activity) in a context When the rebellion is historically contextualized, it becomes clear that there were many factors that contributed to it.

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Other Words from contextualize

contextualization \ kən-​ˌteks-​ch(ə-​w)ə-​lə-​ˈzā-​shən How to pronounce contextualize (audio) , -​chü-​ə-​lə-​ \ noun

Examples of contextualize in a Sentence

When the rebellion is historically contextualized, it becomes clear that there were many factors contributing to it.
Recent Examples on the Web Not many players can reflect on three tours in Afghanistan to contextualize their experiences. Childs Walker,, 24 Sep. 2021 Deutchman quotes Steve Jobs as if to contextualize Rugoff’s genius. Armond White, National Review, 25 Aug. 2021 Less successful is the attempt to contextualize the story within the social landscape of 1960s Italy, when the national economic boom was at its height. Jessica Kiang, Variety, 4 Sep. 2021 And the larger question of how to represent Grace at the nonprofit museum illustrates an ongoing national struggle over how to interpret, contextualize and teach history, which has long underrepresented Black historical figures. Colin Campbell,, 26 Aug. 2021 To contextualize it, the annual carbon emissions absorbed by Africa’s tropical rainforests—12% of which are in Gabon—are more than three times the carbon emissions of the UK. Ciku Kimeria, Quartz, 27 June 2021 For example, capturing metadata and information from sensors can help contextualize everything from step counts and time stamps to temperature readings and the battery health of connected devices. Pascal Bornet, Forbes, 11 June 2021 These stories largely failed to properly contextualize the Delta phenomenon. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, 3 Aug. 2021 The events will allow Smith to better contextualize his writings, answer questions and likely hear more stories of farms lost, lives changed. Barry Adams, Star Tribune, 26 July 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'contextualize.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of contextualize

1934, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for contextualize

contextual + -ize

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Time Traveler for contextualize

Time Traveler

The first known use of contextualize was in 1934

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Last Updated

12 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Contextualize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for contextualize



English Language Learners Definition of contextualize

: to think about or provide information about the situation in which something happens


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