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

Always a majority-white city, Portland was gentrifying at a rapid clip, with black and brown families being pushed out to the suburbs. Hannah Wallace, Bon Appetit, "Rukaiyah Adams Is Changing the Face of Wealth and Wellness in Portland, OR," 8 May 2018 The Tenderloin, a traditionally working-class and diverse neighborhood with a large arts scene and a sizable homeless population, has been slowly gentrifying, leading to rising tensions. Nellie Bowles, New York Times, "Dorm Living for Professionals Comes to San Francisco," 4 Mar. 2018 One paradoxical point observed by the study was that many of the most socioeconomically diverse neighborhoods in cities were also regarded by locals as the ones that were gentrifying. Alissa Walker, Curbed, "Can they be created without displacing anyone?," 21 Aug. 2018 Collin’s moving company co-worker and longtime best friend, Miles (Casal), is a loyal but reckless fuse, perpetually looking for a match, comically enraged by the fast-gentrifying Oakland all around him. Michael Phillips,, "Buzzworthy 'Blindspotting' completes the great Oakland film trifecta of 2018," 12 July 2018 That makes the strip club an unusual fit in one of the District’s many gentrifying enclaves — even if Washington fixation Stormy Daniels is performing at the grand opening next month. Alan Neuhauser, Washington Post, "A D.C. strip club reopens to a changed neighborhood — of high-end condos and artisanal toast," 25 June 2018 All three cities are growing rapidly and gentrifying. Steve Harrison, charlotteobserver, "Charlotte has been losing transit riders faster than any other large U.S. city | Charlotte Observer," 1 May 2018 The next in their series on gentrification, WHYY’s latest inquires how race factors into which Philly neighborhoods gentrify and how quickly. Aubrey Nagle,, "Pa. special election a nail-biter, Meek Mill's mom speaks, Stephen Hawking dead at 76 | Morning Newsletter," 14 Mar. 2018 Critics question whether Long Island City, the fast-gentrifying Queens neighborhood across the East River from the skyscrapers of midtown Manhattan, needs such breaks. Bernard Condon, The Seattle Times, "Amazon’s NYC home in ‘opportunity zone’ for Trump tax break," 13 Nov. 2018

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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Statistics for gentrify

Last Updated

26 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for gentrify

The first known use of gentrify was in 1972

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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

Comments on gentrify

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


to move or proceed with twists and turns

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