amended; amending; amends

transitive verb

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

intransitive verb

: to reform oneself
amender noun

Did you know?

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.

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

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.
Recent Examples on the Web Right now, though, Butterick is focused on amending the complaints for the Stability AI and Meta cases, and continuing to prepare for the other two lawsuits against Github and OpenAI. Kate Knibbs, WIRED, 22 Nov. 2023 With Tesla cars still using potentially defective Autopilot systems on the road today, Scott's order granting Banner leave to amend her complaint to seek punitive damages could result in discovery that further exposes how Tesla makes decisions regarding driver safety. Ashley Belanger, Ars Technica, 22 Nov. 2023 Republicans legislators opposed to the law can amend or even repeal it. Erin Clack, Peoplemag, 8 Nov. 2023 In an executive order, Youngkin said the state of emergency went into effect Monday and remains in force for 30 days unless amended or rescinded by further executive order. Justin Wm. Moyer, Washington Post, 7 Nov. 2023 And the health department amended its guidance to say men under age 40 should not be vaccinated because the department had conducted research and deemed the risk of heart complications like myocarditis unacceptable. Amy Maxmen | Kff Health News, NBC News, 7 Nov. 2023 During daily meetings on the tour bus, Tupac was always perched and ready to inject a comment, amend the agenda, or just add his two cents. Staci Robinson, Rolling Stone, 4 Nov. 2023 There is a possibility that the Judicial Conference, which is chaired by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, votes to amend the rules, but there isn't much precedent that allows for cameras. Jenny Goldsberry, Washington Examiner, 27 Oct. 2023 The restaurant amended its house rules, which were circulated online amid the widespread criticism. Samantha Chery, Washington Post, 2 Nov. 2023 See More

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

Word History


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

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near amend

Cite this Entry

“Amend.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


: to change for the better : improve
: to change the wording or meaning of : alter
amend a legislative bill
amendable adjective
amender noun

Legal Definition


transitive verb
: to change or modify for the better
: 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
amendable adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on amend

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!