am·​pli·​fy | \ ˈam-plə-ˌfī How to pronounce amplify (audio) \
amplified; amplifying

Definition of amplify

transitive verb

1 : to expand (something, such as a statement) by the use of detail or illustration or by closer analysis
2a : to make larger or greater (as in amount, importance, or intensity) : increase
b : to increase the strength or amount of especially : to make louder
c : to cause (a gene or DNA sequence) to undergo amplification

intransitive verb

: to expand one's remarks or ideas

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Choose the Right Synonym for amplify

expand, amplify, swell, distend, inflate, dilate mean to increase in size or volume. expand may apply regardless of the manner of increase (such as growth, unfolding, addition of parts). a business that expands every year amplify implies the extension or enlargement of something inadequate. amplify the statement with details swell implies gradual expansion beyond a thing's original or normal limits. the bureaucracy swelled to unmanageable proportions distend implies outward extension caused by pressure from within. a distended abdomen inflate implies expanding by introduction of air or something insubstantial and suggests a vulnerability to sudden collapse. an inflated ego dilate applies especially to expansion of circumference. dilated pupils

Examples of amplify in a Sentence

amplify a weak radio signal a receiver that amplified the television signal using spices to amplify the flavors of the food
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Recent Examples on the Web Prominent academics would amplify and even justify this derogatory depiction of 19th-century African American voters and politicians. Christopher Frear, Smithsonian Magazine, "Meet Joseph Rainey, the First Black Congressman," 5 Jan. 2021 Overall, Gregory said, Clinton’s policies would amplify the power of the executive branch and diminish that of Congress, continuing the legacy of Obama’s presidency. Cheri Lucas Rowlands, Longreads, "Longreads Best of 2020: Investigative Reporting," 21 Dec. 2020 All of these factors amplify the pressure to keep America’s nuclear plants running into their senescence—and to spend as little money on maintenance and upgrades as possible. Nicolás Rivero, Quartz, "America’s green energy hopes hinge on propping up aging nuclear plants," 19 Dec. 2020 Citizen developers amplify the impact of professional software developers, and vice versa. Satya Nadella, Wired, "Want a More Equitable Future? Empower Citizen Developers," 9 Dec. 2020 These organizations amplify awareness for racial, social and food justice. Katey Clifford, cleveland, "How to watch Bruce Springsteen, John Legend, Ringo Starr and more in ‘Play On: Celebrating the Power of Music to Make Change’," 5 Dec. 2020 Fletcher has also used the show’s audience to amplify his own voice, directing followers to send emails to the Ramsey County Charter Commission in support of his position, or telling viewers to leave comments on newspaper articles about him. Liz Sawyer, Star Tribune, "Video shows Ramsey County sheriff driving past struck pedestrian," 2 Dec. 2020 That could amplify the numbers of players that go on the reserve/COVID-19 list ahead of Tuesday's rescheduled game vs. the Ravens. Scott Gleeson, USA TODAY, "NFL coronavirus updates: Saints' Terron Armstead tests positive, to miss Week 12," 28 Nov. 2020 But the loss, replete with a collapse and some puzzling play-calling, will only amplify the voices of those calling for change. Nick Moyle,, "Longhorns Extra Points: No. 13 Iowa State 23, No. 17 Texas 20," 27 Nov. 2020

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for amplify

Middle English amplifien "to enlarge, increase," borrowed from Middle French & Latin; Middle French amplifier, borrowed from Latin amplificāre "to increase the size of, augment," from amplus "more than adequate in size or extent, ample" + -i- -i- + -ficāre -fy

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Time Traveler for amplify

Time Traveler

The first known use of amplify was in the 14th century

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Statistics for amplify

Last Updated

10 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Amplify.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for amplify


How to pronounce amplify (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of amplify

: to increase the strength of (an electric signal)
: to make (something, such as a musical instrument) louder by increasing the strength of electric signals
formal : to give more information about (something, such as a statement) : to speak or write about (something) in a more complete way


am·​pli·​fy | \ ˈam-plə-ˌfī How to pronounce amplify (audio) \
amplified; amplifying

Kids Definition of amplify

1 : to make louder or greater A megaphone amplifies your voice.
2 : to give more information about amplify a statement

Other Words from amplify

amplification \ ˌam-​plə-​fə-​ˈkā-​shən \ noun
am·​pli·​fy | \ -ˌfī How to pronounce amplify (audio) \
amplified; amplifying

Medical Definition of amplify

1 : to make larger or greater (as in amount or intensity)
2 : to increase the strength or amount of especially : to make louder
3 : to cause (a gene or DNA sequence) to undergo amplification

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