Definition of decontextualize in US English:


(British decontextualise)


[with object]usually as adjective decontextualized
  • Consider (something) in isolation from its context.

    ‘coffee-table photo books with their beautiful but decontextualized photographs’
    • ‘However, it is the nature of this type of photography that - even in the field - the singled-out objects were already decontextualized.’
    • ‘Furthermore, this view rejects the idea that knowledge can be decontextualized, or something that can in any trivial way be grounded on an ‘external reality.’’
    • ‘It remains external to us, mere decontextualised information.’
    • ‘I wasn't expected a unified theory of everything, but what I got was a series of half-baked epigrams, muddled thinking and decontextualised attacks on every philosopher under the sun.’
    • ‘Its decontextualised images and sinister sonic refrains were allowed to retain their unsettling force.’
    • ‘In such times, it is particularly important to reexamine apparently decontextualized rules, forms, and other such structures.’
    • ‘I should stress that what I saw was partial and decontextualised, and it may be faked.’
    • ‘Events are decontextualised - taken from their position as consequences of previous actions - and left unanalysed so that audiences do not have the information to place the event within its historical circumstances.’
    • ‘Rather, if fault must be found, it probably stems from our persistent attempts to seek from indigenous peoples a decontextualised and universal knowledge which we hope might save the world.’
    • ‘But all I really had were decontextualized images.’
    • ‘Monographic exhibitions are invaluable tools for understanding because they allow the viewer to become immersed in an artist's work, but they can also be deceptive by decontextualizing the art in question.’
    • ‘Although the objects are decontextualized, the barren tableaux in which they are situated strangely evoke their natural environments, as the viewer's imagination is provoked to fill in the blanks.’
    • ‘Elsewhere in the show, images of window openings, staircases, mirrors and decontextualized objects were all out of focus, inviting yet inevitably disorienting.’
    • ‘This is dangerous, as the vast majority of information displayed on television is decontextualized.’
    • ‘They're rendered completely meaningless because those sorts of tests absolutely decontextualise the person.’
    • ‘On the whole, social historians are careful to avoid decontextualizing the life of the mind and culture from the larger structures of which they were a part.’
    • ‘Highly decontextualised, melodies play nevertheless an important role in the music of Autechre, conveying part of the emotional body of their work.’
    • ‘The decontextualised quotes attributed to me take on a meaning which is different from the actual message I passed on to Stephen Thompson.’
    • ‘Dominant currents in the philosophy of technology thus essentialise technology, decontextualise it, and abstract it from culture and human meaning, and thus fail to see how deeply embedded technology is in everyday life.’
    • ‘Postmodernism and social constructionism remind us to be suspect of any constructs that seek to establish themselves as decontextualized truths.’