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

Like farming in general, honey-making has since modernized, making distribution to meaderies easier. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "Why the World’s Oldest Drink Is on the Rise Again," 15 Nov. 2018 Sure, it could be modernized with white walls, updated appliances, and floors that are anything but linoleum, but here’s hoping that the next buyers don’t change a thing. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "Score a ’70s time capsule in Sweden for $143K," 6 Sep. 2018 The 25-quart cooler has been modernized with beefy latches, stainless steel kick plates, and tie-down loops for securing the load in your ride. Joe Ray, WIRED, "5 Pieces of Primo Meal-Prep Gear for the Campsite Gourmet," 6 July 2018 However, the new core does modernize the US global model and provides a foundation upon which further improvements can be made. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "NOAA is about to make some big changes to its global weather model," 24 Oct. 2018 Pompeo is scheduled to have dinner Tuesday night with the crown prince, who is known both for his attempts to reform and modernize the kingdom, but also for a wave of arrests and executions that followed his installation as the heir to his father. Carol Morello, The Seattle Times, "In Saudi Arabia, few signs of a crisis as Pompeo and Saudi officials exchange pleasantries," 16 Oct. 2018 The dream of becoming a Disney Princess may have been modernized for 2018, but the dream of looking like a cartoon princess will never die. Leah Prinzivalli, Allure, "ColourPop Is Launching an 18-Piece Disney Princess Makeup Collection," 20 Sep. 2018 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

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

2 Dec 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).


a nest or breeding place

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