mod·​ern·​ize | \ˈmä-dər-ˌnīz \
modernized; modernizing

Definition of modernize 

transitive verb

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

intransitive verb

: to adopt modern ways

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Other Words from modernize

modernizer noun

Synonyms for modernize


contemporize, streamline, update

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Trump’s promise to modernize the United States’ nuclear arsenal is putting pressure on Putin to seek an arms control treaty to replace New Start treaty., "Crossed signals on Russia show Trump untethered from advisers," 14 July 2018 One panel will focus on attempts to modernize the registration process. Jonathan Lai,, "Online voter registration in Pa., three years in: More than 1 in 5 voters register online," 12 July 2018 Downtown Milwaukee's second-largest hotel, the Hyatt Regency, has been sold to a Miami group that plans to modernize the lobby, conference center and guest rooms. Tom Daykin, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Milwaukee Hyatt Regency, downtown's second-largest hotel, sold to Miami investors who plan updates," 3 July 2018 In September of last year, Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, the maverick monarch who has promised to modernize his austere kingdom, announced that the driving ban would be lifted in June 2018. Rafia Zakaria, The New Republic, "Driving Toward Change," 23 June 2018 The directive deals with space debris and space traffic control, instructing the Department of Defense to modernize its methods of tracking objects in orbit, partially by incorporating commercial tracking services. Jay Bennett, Popular Mechanics, "Trump Calls on Pentagon to Create Military Space Force," 18 June 2018 Beauty vlogger turned makeup mogul Huda Kattan is part of a wave of beauty brands helping to modernize the beauty industry. Macaela Mackenzie, Allure, "Huda Beauty Is Launching Easy Bake Loose Setting Powders in 8 Shades," 14 June 2018 Francis is known as a reformer who has sought to modernize the Roman Catholic Church. Delia Gallagher And Lauren Said-moorhouse, CNN, "Vatican open to official role for women and married men in Amazon," 8 June 2018 Carlson has reportedly wanted to modernize the organization for years. Michelle Ruiz, Vogue, "Can the Miss America Pageant Be Saved?," 5 June 2018

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.

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First Known Use of modernize

1716, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

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Statistics for modernize

Last Updated

21 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for modernize

The first known use of modernize was in 1716

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More Definitions for modernize



English Language Learners Definition of modernize

: to make (something) modern and more suited to present styles or needs

: to become modern : to begin using the newest information, methods, or technology


mod·​ern·​ize | \ˈmä-dər-ˌnīz \
modernized; modernizing

Kids Definition of modernize

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

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Comments on modernize

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


something that serves to warn or remind

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