amend·​ment | \ ə-ˈmen(d)-mənt How to pronounce amendment (audio) \

Definition of amendment

1a : the process of altering or amending a law or document (such as a constitution) by parliamentary or constitutional procedure rights that were granted by amendment of the Constitution
b : an alteration proposed or effected by this process a constitutional amendment
2 : the act of amending something : correction
3 : a material (such as compost or sand) that aids plant growth indirectly by improving the condition of the soil soil amendments

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Synonyms for amendment


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What is a constitutional amendment?

An amendment is essentially a correction. It comes in many varieties, up to and including the process of altering something through either parliamentary or constitutional procedure. In the United States, the word is often used specifically of a change to the U.S. Constitution. A constitutional amendment may be proposed by Congress with a two-thirds majority vote in both the Senate and the House of Representatives or through a constitutional convention with majority votes in two-thirds of state legislatures. Once it is ratified by Congress, it must be approved by three-fourths (i.e., 38 of 50) of the states.

Examples of amendment in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The Republicans who voted against the amendments to Senate Bill 1 fell into two camps: Those who support the idea but think the House made a few mistakes during drafting, and those who disagreed with the entire idea. Sarah Brookbank,, "Restaurants open; Ohio gyms; Dr. Amy Acton; Victoria Secret closings; virus spread," 21 May 2020 The Supreme Court diverged from the decision by pointing to two amendments made to the law in 1996 and in 2008 that allow plaintiffs to sue countries that participate in or support acts of terrorism. Anthony Leonardi, Washington Examiner, "Supreme Court rules Sudan cannot avoid punitive damages from al Qaeda bombings on US embassies," 18 May 2020 The question before the court concerned a 2008 amendment to the federal Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, which generally protects foreign governments from lawsuits, but also details the exceptions to such protection. Robert Barnes,, "Supreme Court says victims of al Qaeda bombings entitled to billions in punitive damages," 18 May 2020 On Tuesday, the committee will also introduce nonvoting amendments to the Rooney Rule compelling teams to consider two external minority candidates for head coach openings instead of one, as is now required. Ken Belson, New York Times, "N.F.L. Owners Will Review Incentives to Boost Racial Diversity," 15 May 2020 Even though those amendments have already been passed in parliament, Putin had been insistent on a national vote, which would offer greater validation. Isabelle Khurshudyan, Washington Post, "Putin’s speech at Victory Day events subdued by the coronavirus," 9 May 2020 With matches being played behind closed doors and with other heavy restrictions in place, football's lawmakers have made a series temporary amendments to their rules, giving leagues the discretion to discontinue VAR. Paul Gittings, CNN, "Top football leagues given option to scrap VAR when competition resumes," 9 May 2020 Decisions and study amendments must be based on a risk assessment of subjects. Deborah Watkins Bruner, STAT, "Time well spent: How academic researchers can stay productive in the time of Covid-19," 1 May 2020 Since then, a few states have passed small amendments to the law, but the path to licensing remains challenging for most. Camila Osorio, The New Yorker, "Immigrant Doctors Want to Help Fight COVID-19 but Are Stymied by State Licensing Laws," 23 Apr. 2020

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

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for amendment

see amend

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Time Traveler for amendment

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for amendment

Last Updated

25 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Amendment.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for amendment


amend·​ment | \ ə-ˈmend-mənt How to pronounce amendment (audio) \

Kids Definition of amendment

: a change in wording or meaning especially in a law, bill, or motion



Legal Definition of amendment

1 : an act of amending especially : an alteration in wording amendments to cure the defect in the pleading
2 : an alteration proposed or put into effect by parliamentary or constitutional procedure the Congress…shall propose amendments to this ConstitutionU.S. Constitution art. V

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