sim·​pli·​fy | \ˈsim-plə-ˌfī \
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 \ noun
simplifier \ˈsim-​plə-​ˌfī(-​ə)r \ noun

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 software giant is simplifying its ribbon interface and bringing its Fluent Design system from Windows 10 to Office apps. Tom Warren, The Verge, "Microsoft’s new Office icons are part of a bigger design overhaul," 29 Nov. 2018 The greatest contribution of technology is simplifying, streamlining and automating the delivery of services to people. Michelle Ma, WSJ, "The Impact of Technology on Democracy," 11 Nov. 2018 It’s easier to cut through things, and everything gets simplified. Morgan M. Evans, Fox News, "Jennifer Lawrence reveals how she deals with body shamers and when she feels most 'powerful'," 13 Sep. 2018 This app from Albini, available in English, French, Italian, and Spanish, completely simplifies the made-to-measure process. Matt Hranek, Condé Nast Traveler, "How to Get a Custom Italian Shirt Without A Plane Ticket," 2 Aug. 2018 The initial plan was to cover the arena with glass, but the project was later simplified, and now the stadium stands open to winds coming from the wide expanses of the river. Ivan Nechepurenko, New York Times, "Peeking Around Corners in the World Cup’s Provincial Cities," 14 July 2018 With witty, succinct titles and shrewd pruning, Shaw greatly simplified the plot, making it almost follow-able if no more sensible. Mark Swed,, "A little operatic help for newspapers: ‘La Gazzetta’ couldn't be better timed," 30 June 2018 The new rule simplifies the process and addresses the ultimate unfairness of the previous model, which allowed coaches, schools and even conferences to limit a student-athlete’s next destination. Paul Myerberg, USA TODAY, "How the new transfer and redshirt rules will impact college football," 13 June 2018 Photo: Richard Drew/Associated Press A deal would mark Dell’s return to the public markets and simplify its complex structure. Dana Cimilluca, WSJ, "Dell Discusses Sweetening Tracking-Stock Offer With Large Shareholders," 6 Nov. 2018

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

3 Dec 2018

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 \
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 enclose within walls

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