re·​con·​tex·​tu·​al·​ize | \ ˌrē-kən-ˈteks-chə-wə-ˌlīz How to pronounce recontextualize (audio) , -chə-ˌlīz \
recontextualized; recontextualizing; recontextualizes

Definition of recontextualize

transitive verb

: to place (something, such as a literary or artistic work) in a different context

Examples of recontextualize in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web YouTubers like Lindsey Ellis craft long, brilliant video essays that recontextualize broadly familiar films with unique insights. Wired, "Authority Figures: Movie Talk and the Rise of Review Culture," 1 Oct. 2019 But there are also a slew of videos in which students recontextualize the bathroom social space and play with its perception. Casey Newton, The Verge, "It’s time to end “trending” on Twitter," 13 Aug. 2019 Her achievement here is not to reinvent the coming-of-age narrative so much as recontextualize it, refusing the temptations of solipsism that can sometimes seep into cruel stories of youth. Justin Chang, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Review: Moving ‘Too Late to Die Young’ opens a window on a lost Chilean summer," 13 June 2019 To call Jackson’s professed attack an act of terrorism is also to recontextualize the age of lynching as an earlier age of terrorism, forgotten by most, but whose scars still linger in the memory of black America. Jamelle Bouie, Slate Magazine, "Timothy Caughman’s Murder Was a Lynching," 24 Mar. 2017 Improvisations arrive in judicious bite-size pieces, enhancing arrangements that deftly recontextualize themes within musical landscapes that shift from soul-jazz to samba. Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader, "Kamasi Washington scales down for his new release without letting go of his ambition," 2 Nov. 2017 In towns and cities like Charlottesville, residents are working to either recontextualize these figures—explaining the history behind these monuments of men like Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson—or remove them outright. Jamelle Bouie, Slate Magazine, "A Trumpian gubernatorial candidate is campaigning on Confederate nostalgia.," 3 Apr. 2017 Millard's art looks to recontextualize everyday objects into powerful symbols—other art on his Facebook page, called Voices Through Art, show nails turned into military crosses. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "This "Crashed Space Capsule" Sitting by the Highway Is a Delightful Prank," 8 Feb. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'recontextualize.' 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 recontextualize

1954, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of recontextualize was in 1954

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Last Updated

14 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Recontextualize.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 6 December 2019.

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very cautious or careful

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