amend·​ment ə-ˈmen(d)-mənt How to pronounce amendment (audio)
: the process of altering or amending a law or document (such as a constitution) by parliamentary or constitutional procedure
rights that were granted by amendment of the Constitution
: an alteration proposed or effected by this process
a constitutional amendment
: the act of amending something : correction
: a material (such as compost or sand) that aids plant growth indirectly by improving the condition of the soil
soil amendments

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What is a constitutional amendment?

An amendment is essentially a correction. It comes in many varieties, up to and including the process of altering something through either parliamentary or constitutional procedure. In the United States, the word is often used specifically of a change to the U.S. Constitution. A constitutional amendment may be proposed by Congress with a two-thirds majority vote in both the Senate and the House of Representatives or through a constitutional convention with majority votes in two-thirds of state legislatures. Once it is ratified by Congress, it must be approved by three-fourths (i.e., 38 of 50) of the states.

Examples of amendment in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Despite Buck’s resolution, Congress has no power to force the amendment to be invoked, according to legal experts. Brendan Rascius, Miami Herald, 27 Feb. 2024 Article 370 aims to explain why the Indian state of Kashmir is better off without the special status that was revoked recently when the current Indian government made the amendment in their constitution. Sweta Kaushal, Forbes, 26 Feb. 2024 Although the amendment was passed to restrict abortions, the Alabama Supreme Court pointed to that 2018 measure to recognize embryos as persons under state law, saying the amendment allowed for a more expansive view of the law at issue in the case. Jacqueline Howard, CNN, 24 Feb. 2024 The amendment also requires the tracking system to enable voters to receive electronic notifications updating them on the status of the application and ballot. Detroit Free Press, 24 Feb. 2024 The commission approved the solar amendment on the same 4-1 vote, with Tovar dissenting. The Arizona Republic, 23 Feb. 2024 Haggerty challenged the validity of those handwritten amendments after Bertsch’s death. Alex Riggins, San Diego Union-Tribune, 23 Feb. 2024 The House Judiciary Committee’s amendment, which US spy agencies oppose, would strengthen these protective efforts far beyond the remit of the FTC Act. Dell Cameron Andrew Couts, WIRED, 14 Feb. 2024 Despite delays to the second reading due to a large number of amendments put forward by opposition parties, in December 2023 officials voted to approve the bill with 248 MPs voting in favor of legalization. Sarah Sinclair, Forbes, 15 Feb. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'amendment.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


see amend

First Known Use

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of amendment was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near amendment

Cite this Entry

“Amendment.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition


amend·​ment ə-ˈmen(d)-mənt How to pronounce amendment (audio)
: the act or process of amending especially for the better
: a change in wording or meaning especially in a law, bill, or motion

Legal Definition


: an act of amending
especially : an alteration in wording
amendments to cure the defect in the pleading
: an alteration proposed or put into effect by parliamentary or constitutional procedure
the Congress…shall propose amendments to this ConstitutionU.S. Constitution art. V

More from Merriam-Webster on amendment

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