amend·​ment ə-ˈmen(d)-mənt How to pronounce amendment (audio)
: 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
: an alteration proposed or effected by this process
a constitutional amendment
: the act of amending something : correction
: 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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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 resolution also calls for states to be able to approve an amendment to affirm that federal, state and local governments may adopt safety regulations limiting firearm sales, possession and carrying guns in public. Taryn Luna, Los Angeles Times, 15 Sep. 2023 Under another amendment drafted earlier this month, sheriffs would be required to respond within 90 days to the director’s findings and recommendations, and those reports would be subject to public disclosure. Jeff McDonald, San Diego Union-Tribune, 14 Sep. 2023 Tester, a Democrat, introduced the bill yesterday as an amendment to a key Senate spending package. Andrew McKean, Outdoor Life, 14 Sep. 2023 The one possible exception would be a bill or amendment focused on national security and anti-money laundering—a cause championed by a number of senators on the committee, including Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Mike Rounds (R-S.D.). Byleo Schwartz, Fortune Crypto, 13 Sep. 2023 Tuberville has argued the policy violates the Hyde amendment, which bars federal funding from being used to pay for most abortions, even though the policy only pays for travel and not the procedure itself. Ken Tran, USA TODAY, 10 Sep. 2023 Ridley’s amendment resulted in more than $222,000 in reductions to the human resources and public works department. Everton Bailey Jr., Dallas News, 7 Sep. 2023 From 2021:Activists rally for a healthy environment amendment. The Arizona Republic, 7 Sep. 2023 Advocates for stronger regulation worry that without permanent amendments to Arizona’s current OSHA regulations, this policy is a short-term solution to a long-lasting issue. Jake Frederico, The Arizona Republic, 4 Sep. 2023 See More

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

Word History


see amend

First Known Use

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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

Dictionary Entries Near amendment

Cite this Entry

“Amendment.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


amend·​ment ə-ˈmen(d)-mənt How to pronounce amendment (audio)
: the act or process of amending especially for the better
: a change in wording or meaning especially in a law, bill, or motion

Legal Definition


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

More from Merriam-Webster on amendment

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