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

Definition of modernize

transitive verb

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

intransitive verb

: to adopt modern ways

Other Words from modernize

modernizer noun

Synonyms for modernize


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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 That legislation would also modernize Customs and Border Protection (CBP) technology at both the northern and southern borders, as well as increase staffing for the agency. Fox News, 29 July 2022 Mexico doubled down on this idea at the end of the 18th century, taking over largely indigenous neighborhoods on the outskirts of Mexico City and implementing a gridded street system to improve and modernize them. Whitney Eulich, The Christian Science Monitor, 26 July 2022 Congress should modernize this act to ensure that the CDC has the authority to effectively prevent or mitigate current and future public health threats — while still ensuring protections for individual rights and freedoms. Michele Barry, STAT, 3 July 2022 Congress has debated for years over how to modernize the financially beleaguered flood-insurance program, with policy makers divided over how much the public should subsidize the program. Katy Stech Ferek, WSJ, 16 June 2022 But galvanized by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Chancellor Olaf Scholz has pledged to spend 100 billion euros, or $105 billion, to modernize the force, nearly tripling military spending from the previous year. New York Times, 5 May 2022 Economists say Ukraine should use the devastating war as an opportunity to modernize its economy, spending the money not on replacing what was there, but improving on it. Vivienne Walt, Fortune, 21 Apr. 2022 Yet, how do companies modernize quickly and cost-effectively? Vaidya Aiyer, Forbes, 15 Apr. 2022 The company also will modernize the complex's obsolete HVAC system, restore the façade and replace the windows. Alexandria Burris, The Indianapolis Star, 11 Apr. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of modernize

1716, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

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Time Traveler for modernize

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The first known use of modernize was in 1716

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Dictionary Entries Near modernize



modern languages

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Last Updated

2 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Modernize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for modernize


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

Kids Definition of modernize

: to make or become new and different or suitable for the present time

More from Merriam-Webster on modernize

Nglish: Translation of modernize for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of modernize for Arabic Speakers


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