\ ə-ˈmend \
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

amendable \-ˈmen-də-bəl \ adjective
amender noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for amend


ameliorate, better, enhance, enrich, help, improve, meliorate, perfect, refine, upgrade



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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

Since the end of his presidency, Obama has decided to focus on amending the redistricting system, primarily through the NDRC. Renae Reints, Fortune, "'Politicians Shouldn't Pick Their Voters.' Obama Appears in Anti-Gerrymandering Video," 11 July 2018 Conservationists and their Democratic allies in Congress have shown little interest in amending what’s considered to be the world’s most powerful species-protection law. Peter S. Alagona, Outside Online, "The Endangered Species Act Needs a Reboot," 9 July 2018 Orban's Fidesz party and a small ally won 133 of 199 seats in the legislature on April 8, a super-majority which will allow them to amend the Constitution unchallenged. Fox News, "Hungary's parliament elects premier Viktor Orban to 4th term," 11 May 2018 Orban’s Fidesz party and a small ally won 133 of 199 seats in the legislature on April 8, a supermajority that will allow them to amend the Constitution unchallenged. Pablo Gorondi,, "Hungary’s parliament elects premier Viktor Orban to 4th term," 11 May 2018 Orban’s Fidesz party and its small ally, the Christian Democratic People’s Party, won 133 of 199 seats in the national assembly in the April 8 election, securing a two-thirds majority which will allow them to amend the Constitution unchallenged. Washington Post, "Hungary president recommends Viktor Orban as prime minister," 10 May 2018 The judge, however, allowed her to amend her complaint. Marjie Lundstrom, sacbee, "California promoted a state worker accused of sexual harassment. Then he got sued again. | The Sacramento Bee," 19 Apr. 2018 However a month later, a judge allowed Pladl to amend his bond and travel to North Carolina, according to local station WTVR. Harriet Sokmensuer,, "Incest Suspect Went On Killing Spree of Daughter and Son After She Broke Up With Him," 13 Apr. 2018 The Senate could have been allowed to amend the budget bill in order to reduce wasteful spending. Drew Broach,, "Bill Cassidy, John Kennedy vote against $1.3 trillion spending bill," 23 Mar. 2018

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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Phrases Related to amend

make amends

Statistics for amend

Last Updated

13 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for amend

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

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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 \
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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Comments on amend

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


the setting in which something occurs

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