ed·​it | \ ˈe-dət How to pronounce edit (audio) \
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 How to pronounce edit (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for edit

Synonyms: Verb

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Examples of edit in a Sentence

Verb 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 The second advantage is the ability to edit across the whole genome. John Cumbers, Forbes, "The World's First Fully Automated Benchtop Digital Genome Engineering Platform Is Here," 28 Apr. 2021 How Nobel Prize winner Jennifer Doudna and her colleagues invented CRISPR, a tool that can edit DNA. New York Times, Star Tribune, "New York Times bestsellers," 27 Apr. 2021 As crossword obsessive since childhood who was hired full time by the New York Times upon graduation from the University of Virginia to edit puzzles, Sam Ezersky certainly landed a dream job. Washington Post, "Style Conversational Week 1428: Return of the Seven," 18 Mar. 2021 Since CRISPR-Cas9 was discovered, its ability to edit germline cells has given scientists, including Jennifer Doudna, pause. Claire Maldarelli, Popular Science, "Two women just won the Nobel Prize for their work on the gene-editing technique CRISPR," 7 Oct. 2020 The Stadium Creator mode allows players to make their own baseball stadium or edit existing MLB ballparks. Jackson Weimer, Forbes, "Finally, You Can Make Your Own Tower Of Cows In MLB The Show," 18 Apr. 2021 How Nobel Prize winner Jennifer Doudna and her colleagues invented CRISPR, a tool that can edit DNA. New York Times, Star Tribune, "New York Times bestsellers," 13 Apr. 2021 The video utilized a greenscreen and took about eight hours to shoot and 30 hours to edit. Matt Wake | Mwake@al.com, al, "This Muscle Shoals band’s puppet-starring music-video is awesome," 9 Apr. 2021 Lee had also enlisted the help of Northeastern grad Yalan Peng to direct and edit. BostonGlobe.com, "Lexington teen’s ‘We are Proud to be Asian’ song inspires weekend rally at Boston Common," 9 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Musk's tweets garnered attention from cast member Chris Redd, who offered an edit to the business mogul's word choice. Hannah Yasharoff, USA TODAY, "'SNL' cast members mock Elon Musk ahead of upcoming hosting gig; Tesla CEO pitches skit ideas," 2 May 2021 Then, shop the edit from Neiman Marcus, each piece guaranteed to transform your spring and summer wardrobe. Laura Lajiness, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Complete Guide to Spring’s Boldest Prints," 22 Apr. 2021 The clean luxury makeup collection is a tight edit of complexion, lip, eye and brush options with lush textures that soothe like skincare, but transform the face with gorgeous color. Bea Mcmonagle, Forbes, "Westman Atelier’s Best-In-Class Collection Resonates With The Conscious Beauty Consumer," 20 Apr. 2021 Our edit of spring clothes for kids boasts playful prints, punchy colors, and lasting accessories sure to charm everyone on the playground. Rickie De Sole, Vogue, "All the Things Needed to Refresh Your Little One’s Wardrobe for Spring," 16 Apr. 2021 If your background looks cluttered, do a Marie Kondo edit. Ellevate, Forbes, "Stand Out On Zoom By Thinking Hollywood: Lights, Camera, Action," 12 Apr. 2021 Short answer, my edit was uncomfortable and painful to watch much of the time. Dalton Ross, EW.com, "Survivor Quarantine Questionnaire: Karishma Patel regrets becoming a 'punching bag' on the show," 25 Mar. 2021 The interior presents a similarly clean edit, with a streamlined cockpit that places a majority of driver functions on the steering wheel. Viju Mathew, Robb Report, "Maserati’s New 630 HP MC20 Is the Marque’s First Supercar in Nearly Two Decades," 27 Feb. 2021 Believing that its distinctly gay narrative had previously been guided entirely by straight men, the writer gave both the accused and the accuser a more sympathetic edit than the homophobic tabloids of the 1970s. Jon O'brien, Vulture, "A Guide to Russell T. Davies’s Queer Canon," 18 Feb. 2021

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


1704, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1917, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for edit


back-formation from editor

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Statistics for edit

Last Updated

5 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Edit.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/edit. Accessed 14 May. 2021.

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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 How to pronounce edit (audio) \
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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