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


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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 In 2018 Congress passed and President Trump signed the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act, or Firrma, to modernize the committee and expand its jurisdiction. Thomas Feddo, WSJ, "Will Biden Use Every Tool Against China?," 22 Apr. 2021 With e-commerce growth trends set to continue, the UAE has embarked on an ambitious plan to modernize digital payment networks and expand long-chain logistics infrastructure. Dennis Mitzner, Forbes, "GCC Drives E-Commerce Boom In The Middle East," 7 Apr. 2021 President Joe Biden today will unveil a mammoth $2 trillion plan that would fix tens of thousands of roads and bridges, modernize public transit and commit $45 billion to replacing every lead water service line in the U.S., among other priorities. Todd Spangler, Detroit Free Press, "Biden: $2 trillion needed to fix roads, fund electric cars, replace all lead pipes in US," 31 Mar. 2021 Changes will be coming to, Jones said, in an effort to modernize it. Lucas Aulbach, The Courier-Journal, "Matt Jones sells popular Kentucky Sports Radio website," 1 Dec. 2020 Asked how many of these would be green jobs, Psaki did not give a number but said that plans to modernize infrastructure would help create climate-friendly jobs. Katherine Doyle, Washington Examiner, "White House won’t say how many green jobs will be created by infrastructure plan," 23 Apr. 2021 The need to modernize the current fleet of amphibs is not in question. Loren Thompson, Forbes, "How The Biden Administration Can Save A Bundle Building Warships—Without Giving Up Anything," 1 Mar. 2021 The meeting also focused on the need to modernize military capabilities, expand efforts to defend the Arctic region and ensure that military forces are prepared to contribute to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, administration officials said. Paul Vieira, WSJ, "Biden Meets Virtually With Canada’s Trudeau on Climate Change, Covid-19, Economic Recovery," 24 Feb. 2021 The cost, however, officials said, is outweighed by the need to modernize Metro, which has for decades relied on refrigerator-size kiosks developed in the 1980s to vend and reload fare cards. Justin George, Washington Post, "Metro and Apple roll out mobile payment system in virtual wallet and new app," 1 Sep. 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

10 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Modernize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 May. 2021.

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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

Comments on modernize

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