mod·​ern·​ize ˈmä-dər-ˌnīz How to pronounce modernize (audio)
modernized; modernizing

transitive verb

: to make modern (as in taste, style, or usage)

intransitive verb

: to adopt modern ways
modernizer noun

Examples of modernize in a Sentence

We're modernizing our kitchen with a new oven, refrigerator, and dishwasher. The country recently announced plans to begin modernizing its army. The school needs a building with modernized classrooms. Older companies will need to modernize quickly if they are to survive in today's economy.
Recent Examples on the Web The Arizona Biltmore, which opened in 1929, finally completed a rolling $70 million transformation that modernized every corner of the massive 39-acre, more than 700-room complex while retaining the splendor of its Frank Lloyd Wright–inspired architecture. Chadner Navarro, Condé Nast Traveler, 8 Apr. 2024 In the years after the takeover, Frisch's overhauled menu offerings, modernized (and slimmed down) the iconic Big Boy mascot and updated the look of restaurants with a more open design. Alexander Coolidge, The Enquirer, 3 Apr. 2024 Why do mobile networks flake during temporary surges in use? Phone companies have spent a fortune, especially in the past five years, expanding and modernizing mobile networks, including for sudden spikes of mobile use. Shira Ovide, Washington Post, 2 Apr. 2024 Even so, modern luxury is a high-volume business that has been modernized, scaled up, and made far more efficient, most prominently by LVMH, the corporate conglomerate that owns brands including Louis Vuitton, Dior, and Fendi. Amanda Mull, The Atlantic, 2 Apr. 2024 The dining room in Tucson is slightly modernized with more natural light coming in, but also felt familiar with its brown tables and red and green accents. Endia Fontanez, The Arizona Republic, 1 Apr. 2024 The firm’s goal is not to build dazzlingly unique structures but, instead, to standardize and modernize floating construction with designs that can be replicated en masse. Kyle Chayka, The New Yorker, 25 Mar. 2024 The boutique property embraces a late midcentury design ethos in a way that's less kitsch and more refined, keeping original details like terrazzo floors and travertine columns and modernizing with contemporary furniture. Stefanie Waldek, Travel + Leisure, 19 Mar. 2024 This is all possible today thanks to innovative technologies that enable the rapid installation and commissioning of advanced building control systems and finally put these solutions within reach of building decision-makers who are ready to modernize. Billal Hammoud, Forbes, 29 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'modernize.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1716, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Time Traveler
The first known use of modernize was in 1716

Dictionary Entries Near modernize

Cite this Entry

“Modernize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


mod·​ern·​ize ˈmäd-ər-ˌnīz How to pronounce modernize (audio)
modernized; modernizing
: to make or become modern
especially : to change to suit present styles, tastes, or needs

More from Merriam-Webster on modernize

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