ram·​i·​fy | \ ˈra-mə-ˌfī How to pronounce ramify (audio) \
ramified; ramifying

Definition of ramify

intransitive verb

1 : to split up into branches or constituent parts
2 : to send forth branches or extensions

transitive verb

1 : to cause to branch
2 : to separate into divisions

Keep scrolling for more

How Ramify Branched Off Latin

Ramify has been part of English since the 15th century and is an offshoot of the Latin word for "branch," which is "ramus." English acquired several scientific words from "ramus," including "biramous" ("having two branches"). Another English word derived from "ramus" is the now obsolete ramage, meaning "untamed" or "wild." "Ramage" originated in falconry-it was initially used of young hawks that had begun to fly from branch to branch in trees. "Ramify" started out as a scientific word, at first referring to branching parts of plants and trees and later to veins and nerves, but it soon branched out into non-scientific and even figurative uses, as in "ideas that ramify throughout society."

Examples of ramify in a Sentence

the rise of cable television ramified the audience, creating ever smaller segments for an ever growing array of programming choices

First Known Use of ramify

15th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

History and Etymology for ramify

Middle English ramifien, from Anglo-French ramifier, from Medieval Latin ramificare, from Latin ramus branch; akin to Latin radix root — more at root

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about ramify

Time Traveler for ramify

Time Traveler

The first known use of ramify was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Listen to Our Podcast about ramify

Statistics for ramify

Cite this Entry

“Ramify.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ramifies. Accessed 21 November 2019.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for ramify

ram·​i·​fy | \ ˈram-ə-ˌfī How to pronounce ramify (audio) \
ramified; ramifying

Medical Definition of ramify

: to split up into branches or constituent parts

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on ramify

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for ramify

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with ramify

Spanish Central: Translation of ramify

Nglish: Translation of ramify for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ramify for Arabic Speakers

Comments on ramify

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


strength of mind

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Pass the Little Ribbons: A Pasta Word Quiz

  • pasta resembling wheels with spokes
  • Match the pasta to its meaning in English: Rotelle
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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