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 The mini-armada is one way scientists are trying to better understand how the howling storms are changing as warming oceans amplify their intensity and extend their inland reach. John Fialka, Scientific American, "A Robotic Mini-Armada Will Probe the Secrets of Hurricanes," 14 July 2020 Judith Thomas, hired to lead the Walker in November 2018, left her role this spring to pursue opportunities to amplify awareness of Black history in Indianapolis. David Lindquist, The Indianapolis Star, "As Madam Walker Legacy Center president exits, organization focuses on online experiences," 7 July 2020 Here are 25 brands that are giving back in meaningful ways this year by teaming up with nonprofit organizations that strive to amplify LGBTQ voices and deliver vital resources to those in need. Shayna Murphy, USA TODAY, "25 brands that are giving back for Pride Month," 22 June 2020 The year-old partnership now creates a similar list of unmade scripts by AAPI writers as a way to amplify Asian American voices and reveal more complicated layers of their experience before a mainstream audience. NBC News, "Read about the Asian American screenplays that didn't get produced," 19 June 2020 That translates into far less scope for investing in the stock market, which can amplify savings and build wealth for retirement or getting a college degree. John Detrixhe, Quartz, "The US stock market’s wealth generator has failed black Americans," 2 June 2020 Every two months through the program, Apple Music's editorial team will select one artist from the continent and amplify their music to its users in 167 countries. Aisha Salaudeen, CNN, "Apple Music launches program to discover African music talents," 6 July 2020 In the last few weeks, social media has been overflowing with acts to amplify the injustice, discrimination, and oppression of Black people on all fronts. Mikeisha Vaughn, Essence, "Here's Why The #ESSENCEChallenge Is So Important," 25 June 2020 George Mitchell holds up a megaphone to amplify his words to the crowd waiting for boxes of free food. Mark Trumbull, The Christian Science Monitor, "Rising inequality in a crisis: The view from Baltimore," 24 June 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, from Middle French amplifier, from Latin amplificare, from amplus

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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

1 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Amplify.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Aug. 2020.

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on amplify

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for amplify

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with amplify

Spanish Central: Translation of amplify

Nglish: Translation of amplify for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of amplify for Arabic Speakers

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