verb \ ə-ˈmend \
|Updated on: 19 Jul 2018

Definition of amend

amended; amending; amends
1 : to put right; especially : to make emendations in (something, such as a text)
  • amended the manuscript
2 a : 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
: to reform oneself


play \-ˈmen-də-bəl\ adjective



Examples of amend in a Sentence

  1. The country's constitution was amended to allow women to vote.

  2. They voted to amend the law in 1920.

  3. He tried to amend the situation by apologizing to me.

Recent Examples of amend from the Web

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.

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.

Origin and Etymology of 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

Synonym Discussion of 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 Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of amend for English Language Learners

  • : 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)

AMEND Defined for Kids


verb \ ə-ˈmend \

Definition of amend for Students

amended; amending
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.

Law Dictionary


transitive verb

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



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