amend·​ment | \ə-ˈmen(d)-mənt \

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


correction, emendation

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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 needs just a simple majority to advance, but could launch an amendment process that could play out for days in the Senate. Susannah George, The Seattle Times, "Pompeo, Mattis defend Saudis as senators weigh war cutoff," 28 Nov. 2018 Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who is known for his expansive take on the first amendment, also questioned the necessity for the bill and has yet to bring it up for a vote. Makena Kelly, The Verge, "Without new laws, Facebook has no reason to fix its broken ad system," 31 Oct. 2018 In 1992, two referendums passed to add language to the amendment to clarify that the law could not prevent women from traveling out of the country to get abortions. Gabriella Paiella, The Cut, "Everything to Know About Ireland’s Historic Abortion Referendum," 22 May 2018 In February, a series of four plans dealing with immigration fell by the wayside in the Senate, with no amendment crossing the 60 votes needed to pass that chamber. Adam Shaw, Fox News, "Paul Ryan scrambles to calm GOP insurrection over immigration," 2 Oct. 2018 The state Constitution also gives the governor the power to send back a policy part of the budget with an amendment, changing the language. Joshua Miller And Matt Stout,, "Mass. Legislature could strengthen Charlie Baker’s hand with budget delay," 12 July 2018 The Texas Legislature had passed the package with an amendment that required this public referendum. Mark Gladstone, Houston Chronicle, "Lawsuit over city pension bond decided but appeal planned," 3 July 2018 Sullivan and the rest of the Alaska delegation spent years trying to undo the law with amendments or legislative language, only to be thwarted at every attempt. Erica Martinson, Anchorage Daily News, "Under rule change, Alaska Native corporations could once again get high-dollar government contracts," 26 June 2018 The amendment to a homeland security appropriations bill would advise ICE to provide every detainee in custody with a copy of a privacy waiver form. Nicholas Bogel-burroughs,, "'There’s a family here waiting for them': Baltimore woman wants to take in granddaughter separated at border," 21 June 2018

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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Dictionary Entries near amendment



amende honorable




Amen glass

Statistics for amendment

Last Updated

8 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for amendment

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

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More Definitions for amendment


amend·​ment | \ə-ˈmend-mənt \

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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having a pattern of small flowers

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