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[mod-er-nahyz] /ˈmɒd ərˌnaɪz/
verb (used with object), modernized, modernizing.
to make modern; give a new or modern character or appearance to:
to modernize one's ideas; to modernize a kitchen.
verb (used without object), modernized, modernizing.
to become modern; adopt modern ways, views, etc.
Also, especially British, modernise.
Origin of modernize
First recorded in 1740-50; modern(ism) + -ize
Related forms
modernization, noun
modernizer, noun
antimodernization, adjective
overmodernization, noun
overmodernize, verb, overmodernized, overmodernizing.
remodernization, noun
remodernize, verb, remodernized, remodernizing.
unmodernized, adjective
1. renovate, refurbish, update. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for modernise
Historical Examples
  • Hence his attempt to modernise Chaucer and improve on Shakespeare.

    Why we should read S. P. B. Mais
  • Why, if they were bent on modernising, did they not modernise the shields?

    Homer and His Age Andrew Lang
  • Here the late poets have their innings at last, and do modernise the Homeric house.

    Homer and His Age Andrew Lang
  • I still say so; and he who attempts to mend it, or modernise the form, says so too.

  • No attempt has been made to alter spellings, or to modernise punctuation or grammar.

  • We modernise the somewhat difficult spelling, but retain the quaint language of the original.

    Irish Witchcraft and Demonology

    St. John D. (St. John Drelincourt) Seymour
  • We have no right to condemn beforehand an attempt to modernise the Arthurian legends.

    Oxford Lectures on Poetry Andrew Cecil Bradley
  • Sultan Feysul had done much in the last few years, since our first visit, to modernise his palace.

    Southern Arabia Theodore Bent
  • Despite all that has been done to modernise education, its spirit still remains essentially archaic.

    The Forerunners Romain Rolland
  • Again, the later remanieurs of the earliest Chansons de Geste modernise the details of these poems.

    Homer and His Age Andrew Lang
British Dictionary definitions for modernise


(transitive) to make modern in appearance or style: to modernize a room
(intransitive) to adopt modern ways, ideas, etc
Derived Forms
modernization, modernisation, noun
modernizer, moderniser, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for modernise



1748, from modern + -ize, or from French moderniser. Related: Modernized; modernizing; modernizer.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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