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 editable (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 Choose a color palette, and edit it for a cohesive look. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "7 ways to improve your home's curb appeal, for all those now walking by," 14 May 2020 Kylie Jenner’s fans recently applauded her for not editing out her stretch marks in a recent Instagram story, as Teen Vogue reported. Emily Tannenbaum, Glamour, "Kourtney Kardashian Just Said the Best Thing About Her Recent Weight Gain," 13 May 2020 Here are some of their stories, edited for brevity and clarity. Trisha Thadani, San Francisco Chronicle, "Every day, they show up," 6 May 2020 All of the content in our May issue was shot, written, and edited before COVID-19 turned our lives upside down. Adam Rapoport, Bon Appétit, "We’ve Got New Recipes to Transport You," 21 Apr. 2020 Our conversation has been edited for length and clarity. Judith Graham, Scientific American, "What Recovery From COVID-19 Looks Like," 11 Apr. 2020 Below is that exchange, which has been edited for length and clarity. Patrick O'connell, Anchorage Daily News, "Q&A: There are lots of new questions about coronavirus. This doctor has some answers," 14 Mar. 2020 The following conversation has been condensed and edited for clarity. Karin Wulf, Smithsonian Magazine, "A New Book About George Washington Breaks All the Rules on How to Write About George Washington," 4 Feb. 2020 The following interview has been edited for clarity. Samantha Cooper, Wired, "At Home, Robin Schwartz’s Lens Is More Focused Than Ever," 1 May 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun With many suitors, Kiner took advantage of the social media talents of Roger Bacon Assistant AD Brandon Spaeth who created edits of most of Kiner's top visits or offers. Scott Springer, Cincinnati.com, "Roger Bacon running back Corey Kiner heading to national champion LSU," 11 May 2020 This month, acknowledging the shift, Jeep came out with another edit of its ad. Megan Garber, The Atlantic, "Groundhog Day Was a Horror Movie All Along," 30 Apr. 2020 Despite outrage from some Trump supporters, a CBC spokesman told USA TODAY that the edits were made in 2014 – before Trump even announced his candidacy for president – and was one of several scenes cut from the movie to adapt it for television. John Fritze, USA TODAY, "Trump teases Canada's Justin Trudeau over 'Home Alone 2' cameo controversy," 26 Dec. 2019 Russia has stuck to its claim that deceptive edits in the data were in fact made by WADA’s star witness, Grigory Rodchenkov. Washington Post, "Russia awaits sanctions from World Anti-Doping Agency," 9 Dec. 2019 According to Variety, the film had no screenings until days before its nationwide opening in an attempt to quell online chatter and give the filmmakers more time to finish the final edits. Sarah Midkiff, refinery29.com, "A Cats Catastrophe? The Film Could Lose £75 Million & Its Awards Consideration," 1 Jan. 2020 Hollywood studios and distributors, for example, have been known to modify movies to suit Chinese tastes or re-edit projects that might cause offense. NBC News, "NBA's China problem: How global growth led to geopolitical risk," 7 Oct. 2019 Bornstein, who's been featured in Vogue, The Real Real, and Who What Wear, is taking me through her styling edit system. Katherine J Igoe, Marie Claire, "I Did a Virtual Consultation With Katie Holmes' Stylist, and It Revolutionized My Wardrobe," 3 Apr. 2020 Twitter users have long clamored for changes, like an edit button, to fix typos and revise posts that risk being misinterpreted. Danielle Abril, Fortune, "Twitter tests disappearing tweets for users who are uncomfortable with permanence," 4 Mar. 2020

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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Learn More about edit

Statistics for edit

Last Updated

20 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Edit.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/edit. Accessed 24 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for edit


How to pronounce edit (audio)

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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More from Merriam-Webster on edit

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for edit

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with edit

Spanish Central: Translation of edit

Nglish: Translation of edit for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of edit for Arabic Speakers

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