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 With influential figures including the president using their social media megaphones to amplify the extremist ideology, QAnon reached millions. Jessica Guynn, USA TODAY, "Twitter suspends 70,000 QAnon accounts in massive purge following deadly Capitol siege, Trump ban," 12 Jan. 2021 Margin trades use borrowed money to amplify investments. Anna Hirtenstein, WSJ, "Online Platform eToro Called in Leveraged Crypto Trades When Bitcoin Price Peaked," 11 Jan. 2021 Tests like these, which rely on polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technology to amplify small amounts of viral genetic material to detectable levels, are generally considered the gold standard. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "The New U.K. Variant May Cause False Negatives on Some COVID-19 Tests, FDA Warns," 11 Jan. 2021 Biden won the November election with bold pledges to amplify the federal response to the coronavirus pandemic, release billions more in economic stimulus and raise taxes on corporations and people who make more than $400,000 a year. Gregory Korte, Fortune, "Georgia’s Senate runoff takes place today. The outcome will shape Biden’s presidency," 5 Jan. 2021 Yet the president and his allies have continued to amplify bizarre conspiracy theories from the outer reaches of the conservative media sphere, hardening the belief among Trump’s most faithful supporters that the election was stolen from him. Eli Stokols Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "Trump puts Pence in a vise between loyalty to him or the Constitution," 5 Jan. 2021 Alster often combines non-ablative laser treatments with microneedling to amplify the effects. Julie Ricevuto, Allure, "The Science of Beauty: The Complete Guide to Laser Treatments for Hair and Skin," 30 Dec. 2020 Each drive seemed to amplify the differences in their respective abilities. Jonas Shaffer,, "The Ravens finally look like a playoff team. After a breakthrough day, the postseason’s a win away.," 27 Dec. 2020 More broadly, Daniels argues, the lack of coordination across agencies means lost opportunities to amplify actions with diplomacy, White House statements, or economic pressure. Andy Greenberg, Wired, "2020 Shows the Danger of a Decapitated Cyber Regime," 23 Dec. 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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Learn More about amplify

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

22 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Amplify.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 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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Comments on amplify

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