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

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

Prince Harry even came out to give a personal update on the couple's new little bundle of joy—a break from tradition that says a lot about how the Sussexes are helping to modernize the monarchy. Glamour, "Meghan Markle Didn't Have A Home Birth Like She Planned for the Royal Baby," 6 May 2019 The overhaul, which cost reportedly in the millions, completely modernized the home. Vogue, "See a New Picture of Frogmore Cottage, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s New Windsor Home," 8 Apr. 2019 From a packaging perspective, Skinfix has modernized the logo font ever so slightly, and phased out metal caps and bases in an effort to make bottles and jars more recyclable and sustainable. Karina Hoshikawa, Allure, "Exclusive: Skinfix's Products Are Getting More Eco-Friendly Packaging — and Coming to Sephora," 19 Mar. 2019 WeWork WeWork modernized the coworking space, and the sector now includes countless copycats. Chavie Lieber, Vox, "A breakdown of this year’s brand winners and losers.," 27 Dec. 2018 His admirers, including President Donald Trump, see him as a charismatic partner determined to contain Iran and modernize Saudi Arabia’s closed and deeply conservative society. Karen Elliott House, WSJ, "The Making of Saudi Arabia’s Energetic, Ruthless Crown Prince," 12 Apr. 2019 Starting Saturday, international travelers, beginning with passengers arriving from a Japan Airlines flight out of Tokyo, will be processed through San Diego’s modernized 130,000 square-foot arrivals facility. Jennifer Van Grove,, "Facial recognition tech speeds up customs at new San Diego airport facility," 28 June 2018 In a renovation project overseen by BSE Global -- whose credits include the Barclays Center and NYCB LIVE -- the 90-year-old theater will be modernized while keeping many of its existing features intact. Lilly Milman, Billboard, "BSE Global & Long Island University Team Up to Revive Historic LIU Brooklyn Paramount Theatre," 21 June 2018 These weapons were announced in May 2018 as part of a package to modernize Russian tactical and strategic nuclear forces. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Putin’s New Missiles Are Having Decidedly Mixed Success," 25 Mar. 2019

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

17 Jun 2019

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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 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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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).


showing courage and determination

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