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 The one-year rate is too blunt a tool for a modernizing economy that’s got a problem with excess debt. Washington Post, "Why China’s Getting Ready to Shake Up Interest Rates," 16 Sep. 2019 New Britain has won more than $230,000 in federal grants that will make firehouses safer and modernize equipment on its fleet of ambulances, city officials announced Friday. Don Stacom,, "New Britain’s mayor, fire service, EMS thank Sen. Blumenthal for federal aid," 13 Sep. 2019 By next year, about 60% of U.S. naval forces will be based in the Pacific, up from 40% a decade ago, partly to counterbalance China’s modernizing military. Daniel Langhorne, Daily Pilot, "Navy awards $154 million construction contract to modernize Seal Beach base," 5 Sep. 2019 That challenged designers to maintain the company’s classically clean look while modernizing the cockpit. Russ Mitchellstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "Meet Taycan, Porsche’s first all-electric sports car and Tesla’s latest challenger," 4 Sep. 2019 The gourmet kitchen has pre-war details, but is modernized to include a Wolf electric oven/gas stove, granite countertops, and a wine fridge. Alexis Reliford,, "Taylor Swift's "Cornelia Street" Apartment Is Loaded With The Most Lux Features," 24 Aug. 2019 Also, many of Anchorage’s older ranches are more compartmentalized than current tastes, so remodeling is needed to open up and modernize the living spaces. Anchorage Daily News, "The first thing to pay attention to when you’re checking out a house for sale," 8 Aug. 2019 But the Crown Prince’s attempts to cast himself as a modernizing reformer have been undermined by his simultaneous crackdowns on dissident voices, and mounting criticism of Saudi Arabia’s role in the disastrous war in Yemen. Joseph Hincks, Time, "Saudi Arabia Is Introducing Landmark Reforms for Women. But the Activists Who Pushed For Them Remain in Prison," 5 Aug. 2019 In India, the International Energy Agency estimates the peak electricity load from air conditioning could climb by 10% by 2050 if the technology doesn’t modernize. Chase Purdy, Quartz, "India is the epicenter of rethinking air conditioning," 26 July 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

4 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for modernize

The first known use of modernize was in 1716

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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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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).


an agreement to stop fighting a war

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