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 gentrify (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 Supervisor Shamann Walton, who represents the historically Black Bayview neighborhood, has expressed concerns that turning homes into fourplexes could further gentrify his district and drive out longtime residents. J.k. Dineen, San Francisco Chronicle, 18 May 2021 But as the town began to gentrify in the 1980s, the city began seizing the property riders had used for years for urban redevelopment. Paulina Cachero, Time, 2 Apr. 2021 Mileyka Burgos-Flores said Plaza Seafood represents a part of the culture that is fading from the Allapattah neighborhood, which in recent years has started to gentrify. New York Times, 11 Jan. 2021 But light technicians, grips and actors won’t be the first to gentrify the area, where cement mixers continue to queue at concrete plants. New York Times, 4 Dec. 2020 American cities are looking more and more European these days, as the rich gentrify the downtowns and the poor are banished to the outer suburbs. Jonah Goldberg Tribune News Service (tns), Star Tribune, 27 Oct. 2020 The Bronx casts those trying to gentrify New York City's northernmost borough into literal vampires. Shannon Carlin,, 2 Oct. 2020 City officials have denied that the shooting was the product of a push to gentrify. Barnini Chakraborty, Fox News, 15 Sep. 2020 Around 2005, Fishtown began to gentrify, and a young, racially diverse, middle-class group of people moved in. Eliza Griswold, The New Yorker, 2 Sep. 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

31 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Gentrify.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for gentrify



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

More from Merriam-Webster on gentrify

Nglish: Translation of gentrify for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of gentrify for Arabic Speakers


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