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verb mag·ni·fy \ˈmag-nə-ˌfī\

Simple Definition of magnify

  • : to make (something) greater

  • : to make (something) seem greater or more important than it is

  • : to make (something) appear larger

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of magnify



  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 a :  extol, laud b :  to cause to be held in greater esteem or respect

  3. 2 a :  to increase in significance :  intensify b :  exaggerate <magnifies every minor issue to crisis proportions>

  4. 3 :  to enlarge in fact or in appearance

  5. intransitive verb
  6. :  to have the power of causing objects to appear larger than they are

Examples of magnify in a sentence

  1. The sound was magnified by the calm air.

  2. His failures have been magnified by the success of his friends.

  3. I don't want to magnify the importance of these problems.

  4. The lens magnified the image 100 times.

  5. a magnified view of the image

Origin and Etymology of magnify

Middle English magnifien, from Anglo-French magnifier, from Latin magnificare, from magnificus

First Known Use: 14th century

Rhymes with magnify

abide by, Adonai, alibi, alkali, amplify, apple-pie, argufy, assegai, azo dye, basify, beautify, butterfly, by-and-by, caddis fly, calcify, certify, Chou En-lai, citify, clarify, classify, coalify, cockneyfy, codify, college try, cottage pie, crucify, cut-and-try, cutie-pie, DIY, damnify, damselfly, dandify, deify, densify, dignify, dobsonfly, do-or-die, dragonfly, dulcify, eagle eye, edify, evil eye, falsify, fancify, fortify, frenchify, fructify, gasify, Gemini, gentrify, glorify, goggle-eye, goldeneye, gratify, Haggai, harvest fly, hexerei, high and dry, hip and thigh, Hokusai, hook and eye, horrify, hoverfly, humble pie, Iceni, justify, kiss good-bye, lazy eye, lignify, liquefy, lithify, Lorelei, lullaby, Madurai, Malachi, Maracay, minify, modify, mollify, Molokai, Mordecai, mortify, multi-ply, multiply, mummify, mystify, nazify, notify, nullify, occupy, old school tie, on standby, on the fly, ossify, overbuy, overfly, overlie, pacify, Paraguay, passerby, peccavi, petrify, PPI, preachify, prettify, private eye, prophesy, purify, putrefy, qualify, quantify, ramify, rarefy, ratify, RBI, rectify, reify, res gestae, robber fly, runner's high, Russify, samurai, sanctify, satisfy, scarify, schwarmerei, semidry, set store by, shepherd's pie, shoofly pie, signify, simplify, Spanish fly, specify, speechify, stratify, stultify, stupefy, sweetie pie, Tenebrae, terrify, testify, tie-and-dye, tigereye, Trans Alai, tumble dry, typify, uglify, underlie, unify, Uruguay, Veneti, verify, versify, vilify, vinify, vitrify, vivify, weather eye, Windsor tie, xanthene dye, yuppify, zombify

MAGNIFY Defined for Kids


verb mag·ni·fy \ˈmag-nə-ˌfī\

Definition of magnify for Students



  1. 1 :  to enlarge in fact or appearance <A microscope magnifies an object seen through it.>

  2. 2 :  to cause to seem greater or more important :  exaggerate <The problem has been magnified by rumors.>

Medical Dictionary


verb mag·ni·fy \ˈmag-nə-ˌfī\

Medical Definition of magnify




  1. transitive verb

  2. :  to enlarge in appearance

  3. intransitive verb

  4. :  to have the power of causing objects to appear larger than they are

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up magnify? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to proceed clumsily or ineffectually

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