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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 modernization
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • As republicans, they were the Chinese vanguard of modernization.

    Government in Republican China Paul Myron Anthony Linebarger
  • Some of the parapets had to be 30 rebuilt for modernization.

  • Hugo has selected the first and the best part of the Chanson for modernization.

    La Lgende des Sicles Victor Hugo
  • Production of capabilities and skills required for modernization and industrialization considered to be a major goal.

    Area Handbook for Albania Eugene K. Keefe
  • The Flemish gables and Spanish arcades, not a vestige of modernization marring the effect, make a unique picture.

    In the Heart of Vosges Matilda Betham-Edwards
British Dictionary definitions for modernization


(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 modernization

1770, from modernize + -ation.



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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