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 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

Leonard Floyd sat at his locker stall late Thursday, speaking in a quiet voice and trying to find the right way to contextualize his emotions. Dan Wiederer,, "Column: Bears opener revives fears that a Super Bowl-worthy defense could be wasted by offensive stumbles," 6 Sep. 2019 Graff weaves together the stories of airline workers, first responders, generals at the Pentagon and more to contextualize and seek to further understand the trauma, humanity and history of 9/11. Annabel Gutterman, Time, "The 42 Most Anticipated Books of Fall 2019," 30 Aug. 2019 Just being with this A’s team almost every day has already allowed me to contextualize a team that often, and undeservedly, falls out of the national spotlight. Shayna Rubin, The Mercury News, "Introducing Shayna Rubin: Early impressions of a new A’s beat writer," 12 Aug. 2019 This retelling of Stella’s story becomes an effort to contextualize and validate the narrator’s life. Rachael Allen, The Atlantic, "Reconstructing the Memories of Aging Matriarchs," 1 Aug. 2019 The language can help consumers contextualize a food's flavor, texture and appearance. Scottie Andrew And Allison Morrow, CNN, "A new Arkansas law to fight 'fake meat' marketing draws a lawsuit," 23 July 2019 The series shows almost everything from both Subaru and Haru’s perspectives, which helps contextualize Haru’s reactions to what Sabaru sees her do. Michael Moore, The Verge, "The Best Anime of 2019: an ongoing list," 16 Aug. 2019 Telis said that conference attendees who publicly challenge, contextualize or simply amplify another’s comments speak volumes about their sense of security among colleagues. Melissa Healystaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "In science, questions matter a lot. Men are more likely than women to ask them," 26 July 2019 This probably should help contextualize the value of training camp for players considering holdouts, given the players who have missed parts of camps the last five years. Albert Breer,, "In Atlanta, Dan Quinn Is Ready to Show Off the Falcons’ Coaching Overhaul," 22 July 2019

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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Statistics for contextualize

Last Updated

17 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for contextualize

The first known use of contextualize was in 1934

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More Definitions for contextualize



English Language Learners Definition of contextualize

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

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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 make a temporary encampment

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