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

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 Beer’s work tracks a Westerner’s aesthetic journey into an ancient spiritual culture that Sherpa works joyfully to recontextualize in the present day. Globe Staff,, 24 May 2023 Other artists whose younger emotions have landed in similar situations have found ways to recontextualize their lyrical missteps without ignoring them altogether. Larisha Paul, Rolling Stone, 15 May 2023 Religion can have the capacity to help people recontextualize their reality, and Barry is doing that now. Selome Hailu, Variety, 8 May 2023 Chang is part of a team of Stanford scholars who launched the Chinese Railroad Workers in North America Project in 2012 to recover and recontextualize their stories. Ellen McGirt, Fortune, 2 May 2023 Unlike the first game’s linear story, the second follows a more novelistic approach with sprawling multi-act narratives told from multiple overlapping perspectives and some major rug-pull moments that consistently recontextualize things the player has already experienced. Christopher Cruz, Rolling Stone, 15 Mar. 2023 To recontextualize and reimagine these historical sites, Mellon will fund projects like artist Dustin Klein’s recent light installations, which projected images of historical figures including Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman onto a controversial statue of Robert E. Lee in Richmond, Virginia. Nora McGreevy, Smithsonian Magazine, 7 Oct. 2020 Solo exhibition showcases collages and ceramic works that recontextualize historical images and motifs to memorialize Black figures in United States history. Luann Gibbs, The Enquirer, 12 Feb. 2023 And the web—particularly social media—provides countless opportunities for intertextuality, chances to recontextualize, retweet, repost, riposte. WIRED, 3 Feb. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'recontextualize.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1954, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of recontextualize was in 1954

Dictionary Entries Near recontextualize

Cite this Entry

“Recontextualize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition


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