\ ə-ˈmend How to pronounce amend (audio) \
amended; amending; amends

Definition of amend

transitive verb

1 : to put right especially : to make emendations in (something, such as a text) amended the manuscript
2a : to change or modify (something) for the better : improve amend the situation
b : to alter especially in phraseology especially : to alter formally by modification, deletion, or addition amend a constitution

intransitive verb

: to reform oneself

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Other Words from amend

amender noun

Choose the Right Synonym for amend

correct, rectify, emend, remedy, redress, amend, reform, revise mean to make right what is wrong. correct implies taking action to remove errors, faults, deviations, defects. correct your spelling rectify implies a more essential changing to make something right, just, or properly controlled or directed. rectify a misguided policy emend specifically implies correction of a text or manuscript. emend a text remedy implies removing or making harmless a cause of trouble, harm, or evil. set out to remedy the evils of the world redress implies making compensation or reparation for an unfairness, injustice, or imbalance. redress past social injustices amend, reform, revise imply an improving by making corrective changes, amend usually suggesting slight changes amend a law , reform implying drastic change plans to reform the court system , and revise suggesting a careful examination of something and the making of necessary changes. revise the schedule

Amend vs. Emend

The question of whether to use amend or emend is a vexing one for many people, complicated by the fact that the words sound quite similar and have meanings that overlap to a considerable degree. Both words can be used with the meanings “to improve” or “to correct,” but there are subtle differences. Emend is most often used in connection with changes to some form of written material, such as a text or manuscript; while such documents may also be described as amended, amend can apply to improvements or corrections made to things other than writing, as in “he amended his behavior.” The confusion is compounded by the fact that one of the most frequently encountered uses of amend is in reference to a document: the Constitution of the United States.

Examples of amend in a Sentence

The country's constitution was amended to allow women to vote. They voted to amend the law in 1920. He tried to amend the situation by apologizing to me.
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Recent Examples on the Web The Denver City Council on Monday voted to amend a code that banned pit bulls entirely from the Colorado capital. Ella Torres, ABC News, "Denver repeals 30-year-ban on pit bulls," 11 Feb. 2020 The city in 2015 extended the closing time from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. In Scottsdale, Harvest Health has filed a request to amend the city code. Paulina Pineda, azcentral, "Is 10 p.m. too late? Medical marijuana dispensary pushing to stay open later in Tempe, Scottsdale," 7 Feb. 2020 Councilman Dale Miller on Tuesday intends to introduce legislation that would amend county code to clarify the rights of whistleblowers and afford them more protection than the code currently offers. Courtney Astolfi, cleveland, "Cuyahoga County to consider broadening whistleblower protections," 13 Jan. 2020 The Portland City Council voted 4-0 Thursday to amend the city code to exclude construction companies from being defined as a large retailer subject to the 1% surcharge on annual retail sales. oregonlive, "Portland adds more businesses exempt from voter-approved retail tax, lowering estimated revenue by $10 million," 13 Dec. 2019 But Wine noted that the gun charge could be amended to reflect other prior convictions on Porter's record. Billy Kobin, The Courier-Journal, "Kerry Porter, once wrongly convicted of murder, indicted on gun and drug charges," 22 Jan. 2020 State law says the charter can only be amended by voters in a charter-amendment election. Joshua Fechter,, "Proposal for San Antonio’s independent ethics czar, ethics code changes makes headway," 16 Jan. 2020 The 50 or so pages of revisions that the Council on Environmental Quality is expected to make public on Wednesday would not amend the act itself. Lisa Friedman, New York Times, "Trump Rule Would Exclude Climate Change in Infrastructure Planning," 3 Jan. 2020 But after several city agencies testified the bill went too far, the council amended it to raise the threshold for what lawmakers would be required to report. Talia Richman,, "After ‘Healthy Holly’ scandal, Baltimore City Council gets to work on new financial disclosure rules," 26 Nov. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'amend.' 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 amend

13th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for amend

Middle English, from Anglo-French amender, modification of Latin emendare, from e, ex out + menda fault; akin to Latin mendax lying, mendicus beggar, and perhaps to Sanskrit mindā physical defect

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Time Traveler for amend

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for amend

Last Updated

15 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Amend.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for amend


How to pronounce amend (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of amend

: to change some of the words and often the meaning of (a law, document, etc.)
: to change and improve (something, such as a mistake or bad situation)


\ ə-ˈmend How to pronounce amend (audio) \
amended; amending

Kids Definition of amend

1 : to change for the better : improve He tried to amend the situation by apologizing.
2 : to change the wording or meaning of : alter Congress voted to amend the law.

Legal Definition of amend

1 : to change or modify for the better
2 : to alter especially in the wording especially : to alter formally by modification, deletion, or addition amended the statute amend the complaint to cure the defect

Other Words from amend

amendable adjective

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More from Merriam-Webster on amend

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for amend

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with amend

Spanish Central: Translation of amend

Nglish: Translation of amend for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of amend for Arabic Speakers

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