magnify

verb mag·ni·fy \ ˈmag-nə-ˌfī \
Updated on: 22 Nov 2017

Definition of magnify

magnified; magnifying
transitive verb
1 a : extol, laud
  • while they magnified the art, they often belittled the artist
  • —Havelock Ellis
b : to cause to be held in greater esteem or respect
2 a : to increase in significance : intensify
  • real drama … will use ugliness to magnify beauty
  • —Alan Mickle
b : exaggerate
  • magnifies every minor issue to crisis proportions
3 : to enlarge in fact or in appearance
  • The lens magnified the image 100 times.
intransitive verb
: to have the power of causing objects to appear larger than they are
  • a glass that magnifies greatly

Examples of magnify in a Sentence

  1. The sound was magnified by the calm air.

  2. His failures have been magnified by the success of his friends.

  3. I don't want to magnify the importance of these problems.

  4. The lens magnified the image 100 times.

  5. a magnified view of the image

Recent Examples of magnify from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of magnify

Middle English magnifien, from Anglo-French magnifier, from Latin magnificare, from magnificus



MAGNIFY Defined for English Language Learners

magnify

verb

Definition of magnify for English Language Learners

  • : to make (something) greater

  • : to make (something) seem greater or more important than it is

  • : to make (something) appear larger


MAGNIFY Defined for Kids

magnify

verb mag·ni·fy \ ˈmag-nə-ˌfī \

Definition of magnify for Students

magnified; magnifying
1 : to enlarge in fact or appearance
  • A microscope magnifies an object seen through it.
2 : to cause to seem greater or more important : exaggerate
  • The problem has been magnified by rumors.

Medical Dictionary

magnify

verb mag·ni·fy \ ˈmag-nə-ˌfī \

medical Definition of magnify

magnified; magnifying
transitive verb
: to enlarge in appearance
intransitive verb
: to have the power of causing objects to appear larger than they are


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up magnify? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

food, provisions, or a tasty dish

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!