cod·​i·​fy ˈkä-də-ˌfī How to pronounce codify (audio)
codified; codifying

transitive verb

: to reduce to a code
The convention codified the rules of war.
: systematize
Standardization refers to the process by which a language has been codified in some way.Ronald Wardhaugh
: classify
Customer complaints are codified as dissatisfaction feedback.
codifiability noun
codification noun

Did you know?

A code is a collection of laws arranged in an orderly way; famous examples include the Code of Hammurabi, from about 1760 B.C. in ancient Babylon, and the Napoleonic Code, produced at Napoleon's orders in 1804. Laws that have been included in a code have been codified. The rules of baseball differed greatly from one place to another until they were codified by Alexander Cartwright in 1845; they haven't changed much since, though we don't know what Cartwright would say about the designated hitter.

Examples of codify in a Sentence

The convention codified the rules of war. The author tries to codify important ideas about language.
Recent Examples on the Web The core elements of Putin’s ideology are internally consistent, even if they are not codified in any one text. Maria Snegovaya, Foreign Affairs, 16 Nov. 2023 He's said it should be codified into law that men have greater responsibility, financially or otherwise, when they are confirmed via paternity test to be a father. 538 and Abc News, ABC News, 9 Nov. 2023 After reviewing neural network usages in astronomy, particle physics, and other sciences, the panel determined that the same techniques could be adapted to UAP research—but only if datasets’ quality is both improved and codified. Andrew Paul, Popular Science, 14 Sep. 2023 Moreover, this leader is charged with upholding The Times’ journalistic standards — both on specific questions that come up every day and on codifying the rules for our stylebook and standards and practices documents. Los Angeles Times, 20 Sep. 2023 The Wednesday ruling by Judge Andrew S. Hanen of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas against the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, serves as a blow to the Biden administration, which sought to codify the policy into federal regulation last year. Andrew Jeong, Washington Post, 14 Sep. 2023 Efficiency was on an upswing even before Stan Ulam, as the engineers and managers of the early twentieth century sought ways to codify their processes. Coco Krumme, WIRED, 13 Sep. 2023 While the 1963 Equal Pay Act theoretically codified gender pay equity, loopholes in the legislation have long allowed employers to continue their discriminatory pay practices. Michelle Holder and Anne Price, Essence, 4 Sep. 2023 Culture shapes language because what matters to a culture often becomes embedded in its language, sometimes as words and sometimes codified in its grammar. Christine Kenneally, Scientific American, 17 Oct. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'codify.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


code entry 1 + -ify

First Known Use

1825, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of codify was in 1825

Dictionary Entries Near codify

Cite this Entry

“Codify.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


cod·​i·​fy ˈkäd-ə-ˌfī How to pronounce codify (audio)
codified; codifying
: to arrange (as a collection of laws) in an orderly form
codification noun

Legal Definition


transitive verb
cod·​i·​fy ˈkä-də-ˌfī, ˈkō- How to pronounce codify (audio)
codified; codifying
: to reduce (laws) to a code

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