am·pli·fy | \ -ˌfī \
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

Keep scrolling for more

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
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

Customers think of Von Trier for the drinks and the classic German atmosphere; this menu, with much made from scratch, amplifies the experience. Carol Deptolla, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "International flavors, down at the corner bar, are an American experience," 3 July 2018 The challenge is amplified by the fact that there are so few of the diminutive porpoises left. CBS News, "Inside the effort to save the world's most endangered marine mammal, the vaquita," 30 June 2018 As her Shiba Inu napped on the couch, Diaz sweetened the fresh coconut milk and amplified it with a little orange-blossom water. Tejal Rao, New York Times, "A Delicately Sweet and Floral Coconut Pudding for the Summer," 20 June 2018 This mascara really helps to amplify your lashes and polish off the entire look. De Elizabeth, Teen Vogue, "Meghan Markle's Former Makeup Artist Reveals Her Favorite Mascara," 27 May 2018 This mascara really helps to amplify your lashes and polish off the entire look. Emily Wang, Allure, "Meghan Markle Loves This $9 Drugstore Mascara So Much, She Recommended It to Her Former Makeup Artist," 25 May 2018 The officials said hateful Facebook posts have helped amplify the ethnic tensions. Jessi Hempel, WIRED, "What Happened to Facebook's Grand Plan to Wire the World?," 17 May 2018 Euro exchange rates and some one-time events helped amplify the trading-revenue declines. Jenny Strasburg, WSJ, "Deutsche Bank Posts Sharp Fall in Profit Amid Vast Overhaul," 26 Apr. 2018 Fawcett’s plan was to donate her PR skills and help that organization amplify its message. Christine M. Flowers,, "The Philly woman who is determined to make adoptions more inclusive | Christine Flowers," 8 Mar. 2018

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.

See More

First Known Use of amplify

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

History and Etymology for amplify

Middle English amplifien, from Middle French amplifier, from Latin amplificare, from amplus

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about amplify

Statistics for amplify

Last Updated

11 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for amplify

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for amplify



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

: 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 \
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


transitive verb
am·pli·fy | \ -ˌfī \
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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on amplify

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


the setting in which something occurs

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!