To modernize is to adjust or improve something, especially in a way that uses new technology. You might modernize your grandmother's kitchen by buying her a microwave and an espresso machine.

When you modernize something, you bring it up to date. You could modernize your office by buying new computers, for example, or modernize your antique car by installing seat belts and a stereo. At the heart of modernize is the adjective modern, "relating to the present time" or "up-to-date." In Shakepeare, the word modern is often used to mean "ordinary," although today there's more of a sense of "the very latest technology."

Definitions of modernize

v make repairs, renovations, revisions or adjustments to

modernise, overhaul
substitute new or modernized parts or equipment for older ones
Type of:
regenerate, renew
reestablish on a new, usually improved, basis or make new or like new

v become technologically advanced

“Viet Nam is modernizing rapidly”
develop, modernise
build up, develop
change the use of and make available or usable
Type of:
undergo a change; become different in essence; losing one's or its original nature

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.