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

But the trades did amplify the hangover after the party. Sam Mellinger, kansascity, "The State of the Royals, Part 1 of 2: How did they get here?," 12 July 2018 Aster's method amplifies that uncertainty; the questions are the same, but the audience knows even less about what awaits a character. Jacob Oller, The Hollywood Reporter, "How 'Hereditary' Flips Steven Spielberg's Trademark Shot," 10 June 2018 Vladimir Putin is waging a war on information to influence the U.S. and play on our political divisions and President Trump is amplifying that message with an information war of his own, writes columnist Trudy Rubin. Aubrey Nagle,, "Latest on Sixers GM Twitter scandal, LOVE Park reopens | Morning Newsletter," 31 May 2018 In March, Sri Lanka blocked access to Facebook for a week in an attempt to stop the spread of hate speech perceived to be amplifying mob violence. Laignee Barron, Time, "Papua New Guinea Is Planning to Shutdown Access to Facebook for One Month, Report Says," 30 May 2018 Still, Trump hadn’t even been sworn in as president when some of his scattered opponents on the left started the tentative drumbeat that Steyer is now amplifying. Gabriel Debenedetti, Daily Intelligencer, "Mega-Donor Tom Steyer Is Forcing Democrats to Talk Impeachment. Is It a Losing Strategy?," 25 May 2018 The conversation about boycotting the NFL is back on the table for many African Americans, and attempts to silence black voices have only amplified the purpose. Stephen A. Crockett Jr., The Root, "Congratulations, NFL, You Played Yourself! Protest Fines Didn’t Appease Trump, Who Wants Players Who Don’t Stand for the Anthem Tossed Out of the Country," 24 May 2018 And thank God those voices, those who have been marginalized for so long, are being amplified. Bridget Read, Vogue, "Mariska Hargitay, SVU’s Olivia Benson, and Real-Life Prosecutor Kym Worthy Talk I Am Evidence on HBO," 16 Apr. 2018 The live broadcast of his triumph in Sochi, Russia, four years ago was on nearly a quarter of Japanese television sets, even though his free skate program was aired at 4 a.m. Mystery has amplified Japan's already-fervent interest in Hanyu. Dylan Hernandez,, "Japanese icon Yuzuru Hanyu dreams of delivering another figure skating gold-medal program," 15 Feb. 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

6 Nov 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).


something that serves to warn or remind

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Autumn Words of the Day 2018

  • a-top-down-image-of-road-through-an-autumn-forest
  • Which is a synonym of fugacious?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


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!