sim·​pli·​fy | \ ˈsim-plə-ˌfī How to pronounce simplify (audio) \
simplified; simplifying

Definition of simplify

transitive verb

: to make simple or simpler: such as
a : to reduce to basic essentials
b : to diminish in scope or complexity : streamline was urged to simplify management procedures
c : to make more intelligible : clarify

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Other Words from simplify

simplification \ ˌsim-​plə-​fə-​ˈkā-​shən How to pronounce simplification (audio) \ noun
simplifier \ ˈsim-​plə-​ˌfī(-​ə)r How to pronounce simplifier (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for simplify




complex, complexify, complicate, perplex, sophisticate

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Examples of simplify in a Sentence

Microwave ovens have simplified cooking. The new software should simplify the process. The forms have been simplified.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The aim of the center is to simplify the process of accessing resources and services for veterans and their family members. Coast Magazine, Orange County Register, "Golfers deliver for Goodwill of Orange County’s veterans event," 8 July 2019 The goal of coordinating efforts between the three agencies is to simplify the application process. Frederick Melo, Twin Cities, "Three metro housing agencies to reopen Section 8 waiting list lottery Wednesday," 10 June 2019 In addition, the team’s computer models make some simplifying assumptions, Gilchrist says. National Geographic, "Volcanic 'avalanches' glide on air, boosting their deadly speed," 8 Apr. 2019 Products that can maintain great taste, stay true to their brand ethos, and simplify healthy eating habits. Good Housekeeping, "About the Good Housekeeping Nutritionist Approved Emblem," 18 Oct. 2016 Some door manufacturers offer a handle set that can be included with the door, which simplifies the project. Elizabeth Mayhew, Washington Post, "Replacing an exterior door: Experts’ tips to do it right," 24 July 2019 NetApp provides hybrid cloud data services that simplify management of applications and data across cloud and on-premises environments to accelerate digital transformation for companies of all sizes. Fortune, "NetApp," 1 July 2019 Some Republicans see the program as a lost cause, while a group of Democrats propose a new bill that would simplify the rules. Christian Science Monitor, "© The Christian Science Monitor.," 7 June 2019 However, following nightrider, here’s an intuitive way to understand the result, which simplifies the algebra even further. Quanta Magazine, "Solution: ‘Are Genes Selfish or Cooperative?’," 29 Sep. 2017

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

1759, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for simplify

French simplifier, from Medieval Latin simplificare, from simplus simple

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Statistics for simplify

Last Updated

13 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for simplify

The first known use of simplify was in 1759

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More Definitions for simplify



English Language Learners Definition of simplify

: to make (something) easier to do or understand


sim·​pli·​fy | \ ˈsim-plə-ˌfī How to pronounce simplify (audio) \
simplified; simplifying

Kids Definition of simplify

: to make simple or simpler : make easier

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More from Merriam-Webster on simplify

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for simplify

Spanish Central: Translation of simplify

Nglish: Translation of simplify for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of simplify for Arabic Speakers

Comments on simplify

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


to move or obtain by small maneuvers

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