Simple Definition of edify
: to teach (someone) in a way that improves the mind or character
Examples of edify in a sentence
These books will both entertain and edify readers.
<a family-oriented show that tried to edify the television audience as well as entertain it>
Did You Know?
The Latin noun aedes, meaning "house" or "temple," is the root of "aedificare," a verb meaning "to erect a house." Generations of speakers built on that meaning, and by the Late Latin period, the verb had gained the figurative sense of "to instruct or improve spiritually." The word eventually passed through Anglo-French before Middle English speakers adopted it as "edify" during the 14th century. Two of its early meanings, "to build" and "to establish," are now considered archaic; the only current sense of "edify" is essentially the same as that figurative meaning in Late Latin, "to instruct and improve in moral and religious matters."
Origin and Etymology of edify
Middle English, from Anglo-French edifier, from Late Latin & Latin; Late Latin aedificare to instruct or improve spiritually, from Latin, to erect a house, from aedes temple, house; akin to Old English ād funeral pyre, Latin aestas summer
First Known Use: 14th century
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