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

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Other Words from modernize

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.
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Recent Examples on the Web Oregon received federal money to modernize its technology back in 2009, but the overhaul didn’t get off the ground until the past few years. Jamie Goldberg, oregonlive, "Frustrations mount for 70,000 self-employed Oregonians still awaiting jobless benefits," 24 June 2020 The infrastructure legislation does include $70 billion to modernize the electricity grid, which Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone, a New Jersey Democrat, said would help accommodate more renewable power. Abby Smith, Washington Examiner, "Rank and file pressure House Democratic leadership on renewables amid infrastructure push," 19 June 2020 Patrick has called for states to modernize vote by mail systems and implement best practices like intelligent bar codes on the outside of ballot envelopes for tracking them, which the Postal Service also recommends. Ryan Mccarthy And Maryam Jameel, ProPublica, "The Postal Service Is Steadily Getting Worse — Can It Handle a National Mail-In Election?," 15 June 2020 Just one new way institutions are using Adobe's products: The U.S. Census Bureau came to Adobe Experience Cloud to help modernize its digital strategy for its 2020 Census application site. Lance Lambert, Fortune, "Adobe’s CEO on how the company is posting record results amid economic chaos," 12 June 2020 With much of the USDS working remotely, the coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the need to modernize the government and the program is needed now more than ever. CBS News, "This little-known program has played a central role in the U.S. government's coronavirus response," 6 June 2020 Ironically, the job is in health care technology — to modernize and deliver a better digital health care experience for Californians. Chase Difeliciantonio,, "Start dates delayed for some new hires because of coronavirus restrictions in SF, other Bay Area courts," 31 May 2020 In fact, the competition spurred Mr. Ho to modernize his operations and build new luxury casino hotels. Jonathan Kandell,, "Stanley Ho, tycoon who built Macao’s gambling industry, at 98," 30 May 2020 New brass pulls and knobs did almost as much to modernize the cabinets as the paint. Charlotte Safavi, Better Homes & Gardens, "Clever Swaps and Budget-Friendly Fixes Add Major Impact to This 300-Square-Foot Kitchen Makeover," 21 Apr. 2020

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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Time Traveler for modernize

Time Traveler

The first known use of modernize was in 1716

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Statistics for modernize

Last Updated

8 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Modernize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for modernize


How to pronounce modernize (audio)

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 How to pronounce modernize (audio) \
modernized; modernizing

Kids Definition of modernize

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

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