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 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 The need to modernize the Russian military became clear during the nation's short, sharp war with neighboring Georgia in 2008. Jeremy Hsu, Scientific American, ""Ambiguous" Warfare Buys Upgrade Time for Russia's Military," 12 Aug. 2014 After a year of disruption, many organizations realize that now is the time to rethink and modernize the supply chains. Patrick Moorhead, Forbes, "Oracle Updates Fusion Supply Chain And Discloses 750 New Customer Rollouts In Six Months," 12 Apr. 2021 This week, the Biden-Harris Administration rolled out its American Jobs Plan, a $2 trillion proposal officials said is designed to fix the country’s aging roads, bridges, water systems, modernize transit systems and other infrastructure. Donna Owens, Essence, "Easter Ritual: Poor People's Campaign Washes the Feet of Folks Struggling Economically," 2 Apr. 2021 As part of his plan, Mr. Biden wants to spend $85 billion over eight years to help cities modernize and expand their mass transit systems, in effect doubling federal spending on public transportation each year. New York Times, "America Has Long Favored Cars Over Trains and Buses. Can Biden Change That?," 2 Apr. 2021

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

28 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

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

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Comments on modernize

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