ed·​it | \ˈe-dət \
edited; editing; edits

Definition of edit 

(Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to prepare (something, such as literary material) for publication or public presentation edit a manuscript

b : to assemble (something, such as a moving picture or tape recording) by cutting and rearranging edit a film

c : to alter, adapt, or refine especially to bring about conformity to a standard or to suit a particular purpose carefully edited the speech edit a data file

2 : to direct the publication of edits the daily newspaper

3 : delete usually used with out

4 : to modify a gene or gene product of by inserting, deleting, or replacing DNA sequences The first work attempting to edit human embryos grabbed headlines last week.— Penny Sarchet and Michael Le Page — see gene editing



Definition of edit (Entry 2 of 2)

: an instance or result of editing

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Other Words from edit


editable \ ˈe-​də-​tə-​bəl \ adjective

Examples of edit in a Sentence


This chapter needs to be edited. The book was poorly edited. The stories have been edited for a younger audience. Students learn to edit their essays for grammar and punctuation. The software allows you to edit videos on your computer. This film has been edited for television. an anthology of ancient poetry edited by a local professor
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

This story has been edited to correct the amount of the Hallfords' tax increase. Gordon Dickson And Nicholas Sakelaris, star-telegram, "Priced out of their home? North Texans see tax bill rise $1,200 in five years," 6 July 2018 How should scientists wield the extraordinary power of the gene-editing technique CRISPR? National Geographic, "How We've Tackled the Evolving Science of DNA," 25 Apr. 2018 Geordie Greig, who edits the Mail on Sunday, will take over in November. The Economist, "Paul Dacre, the Daily Mail’s “conductor”, passes the baton," 14 June 2018 In the ongoing conflict between Berkeley and Broad over Cas9, the US Patent and Trademark Office has ruled that using Crispr to detect DNA, rather than edit it, constituted a separate, valid claim. Megan Molteni, WIRED, "A New Startup Wants to Use Crispr to Diagnose Disease," 26 Apr. 2018 The Political Punch newsletter publishes every Tuesday and Thursday between noon and 3 p.m. It is produced by the staff of the San Francisco Chronicle and edited by politics editor Trapper Byrne. Joe Garofoli, SFChronicle.com, "This West Coast governor is gaining 2020 presidential attention," 10 July 2018 The pop star, who died on June 25, 2009, released a shocking tell-all in 1988, which was edited by former first lady Jackie Kennedy Onassis, according to The New York Daily News. Fox News, "Joe Jackson, patriarch of the Jackson family music group, dead at 89," 27 June 2018 The book, edited by Venter, features 255 of those letters. Matt Campbell, kansascity, "Mandela's granddaughter to visit Kansas City on tour to promote book about him," 26 June 2018 After a video introduction (edited by Miguel Garcia), Jose Greco II appears onstage in a tight spotlight. Lauren Warnecke, chicagotribune.com, "Ensemble Espanol pushing Spanish dance into the 21st century," 16 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Every edit to your image feels semi-permanent, like a literal pen on paper. Chris Wilkinson, Ars Technica, "1990, meet 2018: How far does 20MHz of Macintosh IIsi power go today?," 1 July 2018 Sometimes, the edits are rather harmless, but that certainly isn’t always the case for everyone, as Courtney Robertson, who accepted Ben Flajnik’s final rose in in 2012, revealed in her tell-all, aptly titled I Didn’t Come Here to Make Friends. De Elizabeth, Teen Vogue, "Bekah Martinez on "The Bachelor," Social Media Bullying, and Hair Secrets," 27 June 2018 The price range for my edit of pieces was also solid, with everything under $250. Leah Bourne, Glamour, "Women's Clothing Subscription Boxes Want to Change the Way You Shop—So We Tried Them," 18 June 2018 This was my film, and no one was going to change my edit in the end. Sonaiya Kelley, latimes.com, "Director Jim McKay's timely 'En el Séptimo Día' humanizes immigration and labor struggles in the Trump era," 14 June 2018 Manchester City defender Benjamin Mendy trolled teammate Raheem Sterling after City were confirmed as Premier League champions, with the 23-year-old making some minor edits to a celebratory picture released by the club. SI.com, "Benjamin Mendy Trolls Manchester City Teammate on Twitter Following Premier League Triumph," 16 Apr. 2018 But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention agency, which once sought to publicize the dangerous impact of heat on outdoor workers' health, did so before his inauguration — and before Trump's team was in place to call for the edits. Dino Grandoni, Washington Post, "The Energy 202: Interior lacks permanent leaders for key agencies controlling roughly 500 million acres of public land," 3 July 2018 Watching the season after footage was processed in an edit bay was also filled with unexpected experiences for Bekah. De Elizabeth, Teen Vogue, "Bekah Martinez on "The Bachelor," Social Media Bullying, and Hair Secrets," 27 June 2018 Kardashian first tried to get the social media giant to add an edit function back in 2015. Natasha Bach, Fortune, "Kim Kardashian Makes Typos Too. So She's Asking Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey for an 'Edit' Button," 13 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'edit.' 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 edit


1791, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1955, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for edit


back-formation from editor

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Statistics for edit

Last Updated

22 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for edit

The first known use of edit was in 1791

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More Definitions for edit



English Language Learners Definition of edit

: to prepare (something written) to be published or used : to make changes, correct mistakes, etc., in (something written)

: to prepare (a film, recording, photo, etc.) to be seen or heard : to change, move, or remove parts of (a film, recording, photo, etc.)

: to be in charge of the publication of (something)


ed·​it | \ˈe-dət \
edited; editing

Kids Definition of edit

1 : to correct, revise, and get ready for publication : collect and arrange material to be printed I'm editing a book of poems.

2 : to be in charge of the publication of something (as an encyclopedia or a newspaper) that is the work of many writers

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Comments on edit

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