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 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 The Alaska Oil and Gas Association supplied 28 pages of comments asking DEC officials to modernize regulatory language and standards to reflect current industry standards. Author: Elwood Brehmer, Anchorage Daily News, "Public comments on revising Alaska oil spill response range from status quo to modernization," 19 Mar. 2020 Still, Surwilo isn’t phased by her quintessentially millennial career or her plans to modernize Mr. Trophy. Rebecca Lurye,, "Mr. Trophy’s Butch Surwilo retiring after 57 years, but not before securing his Hartford legacy with new owners," 30 Nov. 2019 Unlike the pressures of playing Steinem or modernizing Medea, Byrne says Irresistible was more whimsical. Nick Romano,, "Inside Rose Byrne's summer of radical feminists, crazy conservatives, and homemade penicillins," 14 May 2020 Low interest rates present an opportunity for public investment to boost growth, modernizing aging airports, ports and rails in advanced economies, the IMF said in the second chapter of its semi-annual fiscal monitor published Wednesday. Eric Martin,, "IMF Says World Needs $20 Trillion Public Investment Post Virus," 5 May 2020 The board’s action is the latest step by the Association to support college athletes and modernize its rules regarding name, image and likeness. Adam Baum,, "NCAA inches closer to student-athlete compensation for third-party endorsements," 29 Apr. 2020 In recent years, Kim Jong Un has built new hospitals and modernized some medical facilities as the economy improved, but most of the medical benefits still largely go to his ruling elite, experts say. Time, "Defectors Cast Doubt on North Korea’s Claim It Has Zero Coronavirus Cases," 20 Apr. 2020 Levi Strauss has gone to great lengths in recent years to exert more control over its brand, reducing its exposure in U.S. department stores, and taking back stores from franchisees overseas, while modernizing e-commerce and its own stores. Phil Wahba, Fortune, "Levi’s focuses on keeping customers’ attention online while stores are closed," 8 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

2 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Modernize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Jun. 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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