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 As political leaders wrestle with whether and how to modernize police departments, the Maryland House of Delegates is inching forward with recommendations. Pamela Wood,, "Maryland lawmakers recommend some policing changes, but hold off on toughest proposals," 8 Oct. 2020 In thinking about how to modernize it, the team had an idea: Why not use the Wayback Machine, the existing crawling and caching juggernaut, to power Always On? Lily Hay Newman, Wired, "The Wayback Machine and Cloudflare Want to Backstop the Web," 17 Sep. 2020 For example, the prefabricated insulation panels that are needed to modernize old, drafty buildings must be manufactured at scale, and fast. David Meyer, Fortune, "Europe’s leaders want to create a ‘new Bauhaus’ as part of its Green Deal. But what does that even mean?," 16 Sep. 2020 In 2019, the European Commission, the EU’s executive body, published a report commissioned by its Directorate General for Competition on how to modernize antitrust. Henrique Schneider, National Review, "Weaponizing Antitrust: The EU’s Protectionist Agenda," 11 Nov. 2020 One law to modernize court proceedings was propelled by the pandemic. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, "NYC lessons, Harding centennial, canceled parades: News from around our 50 states," 4 Nov. 2020 The insurer has partnered with Amazon Web Services to modernize its technology, launched a fresh website and a new app. Loni Prinsloo,, "Old Mutual CEO Reboots Strategy After Brawl With Predecessor," 3 Nov. 2020 The millennial king-in-waiting, better known as MBS, said the plan would modernize Saudi Arabia by reducing its reliance on oil wealth, government subsidies and foreign laborers like Subash and Tejendra. Los Angeles Times, "The Nepalese man who came back from the dead," 28 Oct. 2020 The effort is part of an ambitious broader plan to modernize cities with everything from high-speed internet to better transport systems. Roli Srivastava, The Christian Science Monitor, "In India, urban planners anticipate climate change," 26 Oct. 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

29 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Modernize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Nov. 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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