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

Note: The descriptions of items on the tariff list have been simplified, and the corresponding values don’t include all items within those descriptions. WSJ, "From Seafood to Mattresses: How the Latest Tariffs Would Affect U.S. Businesses," 12 July 2018 Folding the windshield forward (a remnant of the need to ship jeeps in crates during World War II) is vastly simplified. Tom Voelk, New York Times, "26 Vehicles Played in the Mud. Here’s the Dirt.," 12 July 2018 To deal with the hello-message problem, the packets that carry those messages are simplified. The Economist, "A new type of battlefield network is in development," 14 June 2018 The application form has been significantly simplified and now only one member of a facility’s institutional review board needs to sign off on the petition. Vibhav Rangarajan, STAT, "The ‘cruel joke’ of compassionate use and right to try: Pharma companies don’t have to comply," 5 June 2018 The life of a wrestling promoter, at any level, is simplified when there are no issues. Dan Gartland,, "To Revive Impact Wrestling, Scott D’Amore Wants to ‘Earn Back One Fan at a Time’," 20 Apr. 2018 There is a growing sense that, to make patients safer, hospitals need to simplify the ever more complex world of health care. The Economist, "Hospitals are learning from industry how to cut medical errors," 28 June 2018 What could be used or not used to simplify this rigging? . Wes Siler, Outside Online, "The Gear You Need to Get Your Truck Unstuck," 19 June 2018 To simplify things, the Mars Helicopter will fly only in calm conditions with little wind. Jay Bennett, Popular Mechanics, "How to Fly a Helicopter on Mars," 15 May 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

5 Nov 2018

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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).


something that serves to warn or remind

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