edify

play
verb ed·i·fy \ ˈe-də-ˌfī \
Updated on: 9 Aug 2017

Definition of edify

edified; edifying
transitive verb
1 archaic
a :build
2 :to instruct and improve especially in moral and religious knowledge :uplift; also :enlighten, inform

edify was our Word of the Day on 08/04/2016. Hear the podcast!

Examples of edify in a Sentence

  1. These books will both entertain and edify readers.

  2. a family-oriented show that tried to edify the television audience as well as entertain it

Recent Examples of edify from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'edify.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

edify Has Latin Roots

The Latin noun aedes, meaning "house" or "temple," is the root of aedificare, a verb meaning "to erect a house." Generations of speakers built on that meaning, and by the Late Latin period, the verb had gained the figurative sense of "to instruct or improve spiritually." The word eventually passed through Anglo-French before Middle English speakers adopted it as edify during the 14th century. Two of its early meanings, "to build" and "to establish," are now considered archaic; the only current sense of edify is essentially the same as that figurative meaning in Late Latin, "to instruct and improve in moral and religious knowledge."

Origin and Etymology of edify

Middle English, from Anglo-French edifier, from Late Latin & Latin; Late Latin aedificare to instruct or improve spiritually, from Latin, to erect a house, from aedes temple, house; akin to Old English ād funeral pyre, Latin aestas summer


EDIFY Defined for English Language Learners

edify

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verb

Definition of edify for English Language Learners

  • : to teach (someone) in a way that improves the mind or character



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