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.

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from contextualize

contextualization \ kən-​ˌteks-​ch(ə-​w)ə-​lə-​ˈzā-​shən How to pronounce contextualization (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

Elsewhere in the country, women lead efforts to examine and contextualize statues of men other than Confederate soldiers, but whose place in history are also hotly debated. Samantha Willis, Glamour, "It's Not Just Confederate Monuments—all Statues of Problematic Men Must Go," 12 Aug. 2018 To what extent are some of our difficulties figuring out how to conceptualize repentance, as a society, the result of lacking a cohesive, shared vocabulary within which to contextualize what forgiveness and repentance mean? Tara Isabella Burton, Vox, "A scholar of forgiveness explains what makes a good public apology for sexual misconduct," 24 Sep. 2018 There’s been a really amazing, kind of organic thing that’s come out of Black Twitter, which is #onhere, to describe just experiences that are happening right now or contextualize the experiences happening on Twitter itself. Peter Kafka, Recode, "Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey talked to NYU’s Jay Rosen for an hour, on the record. Read and listen to the full interview here.," 14 Sep. 2018 Maximilian HorsleyArakan TravelHe takes travelers deep into the countryside for market tours, monastery visits, and encounters with hill tribes and with insiders who can contextualize the country’s ongoing internal conflicts. Paul Brady, Condé Nast Traveler, "2018 Top Travel Specialists We Trust," 19 Oct. 2018 So while MoMA’s exhibition does contextualize this concrete architecture, attaching names, places, and specific stories to the gray hulks, whether the summertime audience will care is another story. Alexandra Lange, Curbed, "Concrete utopia," 12 July 2018 Sketches, photographs and fabric samples contextualize the garments and patterns, and x-rays, toiles and film are used to reveal details in their construction and making. Necee Regis,, "Here, there, and everywhere," 29 May 2018 There’s news satire, which applies to how programs like The Daily Show use humor to contextualize and mock real-world events. Jackie Mansky, Smithsonian, "The Age-Old Problem of “Fake News”," 7 May 2018 The exhibition’s wall text makes an effort to contextualize women and their relative power in the 18th century, but Casanova’s narrative, and the gaze of artists of the day, almost all men, frame the show. Cate Mcquaid,, "MFA’s ‘Casanova’ a voluptuous look at a notorious voluptuary," 6 July 2018

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.

See More

First Known Use of contextualize

1934, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for contextualize

see context

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about contextualize

Share contextualize

Statistics for contextualize

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for contextualize

The first known use of contextualize was in 1934

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for contextualize



English Language Learners Definition of contextualize

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

More from Merriam-Webster on contextualize

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with contextualize

Comments on contextualize

What made you want to look up contextualize? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to corrupt or become corrupted

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

A Green Quiz

  • shamrock
  • What is the best definition of green-eyed monster?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!