amend·​ment | \ə-ˈmen(d)-mənt \

Definition of amendment 

1a : 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

b : an alteration proposed or effected by this process a constitutional amendment

2 : the act of amending something : correction

3 : 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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Synonyms for amendment


correction, emendation

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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

The cut, added as an amendment to the budget in the Missouri House, is specifically designed to target Planned Parenthood. Jason Hancock, kansascity, "Parson signs budget that blocks funding to Missouri Planned Parenthood clinics," 29 June 2018 The plan now awaits approval from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, after which it will be attached as an amendment to the Texas General Land Office’s plan that addresses recovery along the rest of the Gulf Coast. Mike Morris, Houston Chronicle, "Houston council approves plan for first $1B in Harvey aid," 27 June 2018 No such legislation has been unveiled, however, and the proposal fell short when Murphy introduced it as an amendment at a recent hearing. Lev Facher, STAT, "As opioids legislation gains steam, efforts to address crisis collide with moneyed interests," 7 June 2018 And as part of an agreement known as the Kigali amendment to the Montreal Protocol, other countries are working to phase out refrigerants used in air-conditioning units that are also potent greenhouse gases. New York Times, "The World Wants Air-Conditioning. That Could Warm the World.," 15 May 2018 The bipartisan proposal was first introduced as a state budget bill amendment last year but was pulled at the last minute at the objections of the Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association and Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine. Jackie Borchardt,, "Should Ohio pay wrongfully imprisoned ex-inmates if prosecutors withhold evidence?," 4 Apr. 2018 The state Supreme Court last month cleared the way for the program to begin, reversing a lower judge’s ruling that the licensing process was flawed and violated the constitutional amendment legalizing medical marijuana. Washington Post, "Conservative states balk at voter-approved medical marijuana," 13 July 2018 The House, too, could be reformed without any constitutional amendment. The Economist, "America’s electoral system gives the Republicans advantages over Democrats," 12 July 2018 Volatility is due to an overreliance on income taxes on the high-wage earners and that could only be changed by a constitutional amendment reducing taxes on the wealthy and broadening the base to increase taxes on others. sacbee, "Tax haircuts and concerts – or the rich? Californians consider the options," 9 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'amendment.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of amendment

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for amendment

see amend

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Dictionary Entries near amendment



amende honorable




Amen glass

Statistics for amendment

Last Updated

10 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for amendment

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

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More Definitions for amendment


amend·​ment | \ə-ˈmend-mənt \

Kids Definition of amendment

: a change in wording or meaning especially in a law, bill, or motion



Legal Definition of amendment 

1 : an act of amending especially : an alteration in wording amendments to cure the defect in the pleading

2 : an alteration proposed or put into effect by parliamentary or constitutional procedure the Congress…shall propose amendments to this ConstitutionU.S. Constitution art. V

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Comments on amendment

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


to clear from alleged fault or guilt

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