de·​con·​tex·​tu·​al·​ize | \ ˌdē-kən-ˈteks-chə-wə-ˌlīz How to pronounce decontextualize (audio) , -chə-ˌlīz, -chü-ə-ˌlīz \
decontextualized; decontextualizing; decontextualizes

Definition of decontextualize

transitive verb

: to remove from a context

Examples of decontextualize in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Together, the two men did much to scramble, disassemble and decontextualize the melodic orthodoxies of hard bop. Morgan Enos, Billboard, "Buell Neidlinger Dies at 83: Bassist Was the Man Behind the Curtain of These 5 Essential Songs," 26 Mar. 2018 The exhibit also features photos by artist Simone Rosenbauer, whose graphic images decontextualize the Popsicle by placing it against a single-color background, rendering it a universal symbol. Sarah Nechamkin, The Cut, "This New Exhibition Will Satisfy Your Summer Sweet Tooth," 9 July 2017

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

First Known Use of decontextualize

1977, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about decontextualize

Time Traveler for decontextualize

Time Traveler

The first known use of decontextualize was in 1977

See more words from the same year

Statistics for decontextualize

Cite this Entry

“Decontextualize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Apr. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Comments on decontextualize

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


Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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