gen·​tri·​fy | \ ˈjen-trə-ˌfī How to pronounce gentrify (audio) \
gentrified; gentrifying

Definition of gentrify

transitive verb

: to attempt or accomplish the gentrification of gentrified a run-down section of the city

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Other Words from gentrify

gentrifier \ ˈjen-​trə-​ˌfī(-​ə)r How to pronounce gentrifier (audio) \ noun

Examples of gentrify in a Sentence

As the neighborhood became gentrified, the people who had lived there for many years could no longer afford it.
Recent Examples on the Web This is, at least, the perspective of the novel’s narrator, Lizzie, a grad-school dropout living at the frontier of gentrifying Brooklyn. Lauren Oyler, The New Yorker, "Are Novels Trapped by the Present?," 12 Feb. 2020 West Dallas Investments is the developer behind the restaurant cluster Trinity Groves and a major owner of other properties in the fast-gentrifying neighborhoods west of the iconic Margaret Hunt Hill bridge. Dianne Solis, Dallas News, "An artists’ community crops up around Dallas’ unofficial graffiti park, and the neighborhood wants to keep them both," 10 Jan. 2020 Critics say that too many neighborhoods getting the break were already gentrifying and that investors are likely to pour even more money into them, bypassing the poor, black communities that the program is partly intended to help. Bernard Condon,, "Trump’s story about Cincinnati veteran’s comeback was not quite true," 13 Feb. 2020 Little Havana, which is set to receive a fresh wave of tourists as Miami hosts Super Bowl LIV, is a microcosm of the shifts in immigration felt throughout the country and the race to revitalize – or gentrify – urban cores. Alan Gomez, USA Today, "Before Super Bowl, Miami's Little Havana faces exodus of Cubans, pressure from developers," 31 Jan. 2020 In this comedy, Latinx cousins work to keep their grandfather's taco shop afloat in a rapidly gentrifying LA neighborhood. Carly Mallenbaum, USA TODAY, "Netflix in February: 'To All the Boys' sequel, 'Roma' documentary, 'Locke and Key'," 24 Jan. 2020 In the book, New York City and each of the five boroughs are made human, embodied by six characters who act as supernatural avatars for each location and use their powers to defend their home from an otherworldly, gentrifying force. Cate Matthews, Time, "Author N. K. Jemisin on Race, Gentrification and the Power of Fiction to Bring People Together," 13 Mar. 2020 Last July, shortly before Hahnemann University Hospital closed, presidential candidate Bernie Sanders held a rally at the site in the gentrifying neighborhood near the University of Pennsylvania. Stephen Gandel, CBS News, "Joel Freedman, owner of empty Philadelphia hospital, wants millions to reopen for COVID-19," 2 Apr. 2020 Cobble Hill’s seven-block stretch of Court Street is rife with real estate offices and children’s stores typical of gentrifying neighborhoods. Julie Lasky, New York Times, "Cobble Hill, Brooklyn: A Village-Like Vibe With Towering Prices," 19 Feb. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'gentrify.' 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 gentrify

1972, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for gentrify

gentry + -ify (or as back-formation from gentrification)

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Time Traveler for gentrify

Time Traveler

The first known use of gentrify was in 1972

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Statistics for gentrify

Last Updated

20 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Gentrify.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for gentrify


How to pronounce gentrify (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of gentrify

: to change (a place, such as an old neighborhood) by improving it and making it more appealing to people who have money

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More from Merriam-Webster on gentrify

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with gentrify

Nglish: Translation of gentrify for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of gentrify for Arabic Speakers

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