\ 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

Synonyms & Antonyms for amend



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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 Fagan, a Democrat and former state lawmaker, will advise the National Popular Vote, a nonprofit behind a bipartisan movement to amend the U.S. Constitution allowing voters to elect the president through a popular vote. Tim Gruver, Washington Examiner, "Oregon secretary of state joins nonprofit backing abolition of the Electoral College," 2 Mar. 2021 Robert Cherry, a Baltimore homicide sergeant who heads the city FOP’s legislative committee, said the union might seek to have legislators amend the bill to include a guarantee that the collective bargaining arrangement remain in effect. Bryn Stole,, "Maryland lawmakers weigh giving Baltimore full local control of police for first time in 160 years," 1 Mar. 2021 Democrats tried to amend the bills to provide the additional funds, but Republicans beat back those efforts. Dave Boucher, Detroit Free Press, "Senate GOP passes COVID-19 funding bills, including one Democrats call 'racist bulls--t'," 26 Feb. 2021 Republicans in Pennsylvania did an end run around the possibility of a veto by the Democratic governor, Tom Wolf, by placing a measure on the statewide ballot in May to amend the state constitution. New York Times, "State Lawmakers Defy Governors in a Covid-Era Battle for Power," 22 Feb. 2021 Josefowitz tried Wednesday to amend the mandate to allow for walking to work or taking transit, but opponents said any delay to the plan could cause the commission to miss a key funding deadline or fall short of targets for reducing emissions. NBC News, "California's Bay Area may require telecommuting, even after the pandemic wanes," 24 Sep. 2020 One is to explicitly legalize recreational marijuana while the other is to amend the state's constitution to allow the first measure to pass. Sarah Elbeshbishi, USA TODAY, "Pot, pay and gay marriage: Voters will have a chance to decide hot-button issues on their state ballots," 3 Nov. 2020 In 2018, just over 61% of Michigan voters approved a proposal to amend the state’s constitution to allow voters to vote absentee for any reason. Clara Hendrickson, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan's 8 p.m. deadline for returning absentee ballots could sway tight election," 31 Oct. 2020 The student protests began as a call to hold new elections, amend the constitution and stop intimidation of political activists. Jerry Harmer, Star Tribune, "Some Thai students choose protest option at graduation," 31 Oct. 2020

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

5 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Amend.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for amend



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

Nglish: Translation of amend for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of amend for Arabic Speakers

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