syn·​the·​size | \ ˈsin(t)-thə-ˌsīz How to pronounce synthesize (audio) \
synthesized; synthesizing

Definition of synthesize

transitive verb

1 : to combine or produce by synthesis
2 : to make a synthesis of
3 : to produce (something, such as music) by an electronic synthesizer

intransitive verb

: to make a synthesis

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Did You Know?

Synthesize is a very common word in chemistry, since chemists are constantly synthesizing new compounds—that is, synthetic compounds—including drugs and industrial chemicals. It's also often used when talking about writing; nonfiction writers must often synthesize large amounts of material from many sources to produce a book—which represents a synthesis of the important materials. An electronic synthesizercreates new sounds (which may imitate the sounds of acoustic instruments) by generating different basic tones and then manipulating and merging them together with others.

Examples of synthesize in a Sentence

She synthesized the treatment from traditional and modern philosophies of medicine. He synthesized old and new ideas to form his theory. Amino acid is synthesized in the body.
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Recent Examples on the Web

And helping people synthesize some of that information. Eric Johnson, Recode, "23andMe CEO Anne Wojcicki says ‘one of our biggest competitors’ is fake science on sites like Goop," 20 Oct. 2018 The vampire bat microbiome helps with the nutritional aspect of blood sucking by aiding with carbohydrate metabolism and synthesizing essential cofactors and vitamins lacking in blood. Diana Gitig, Ars Technica, "Gut bacteria key to the vampire bat’s ability to survive on blood," 1 Mar. 2018 Guthrie said, because nerve agents are relatively difficult to synthesize and manufacturing them requires expertise. Washington Post, "Rare but deadly nerve agents have been used in war, terror," 8 Mar. 2018 For guidance, @max_energy @samthernstrom & I reviewed 40 academic studies charting course to a decarbonized power system & synthesized findings in a paper just published in the journal Joule. David Roberts, Vox, "The Green New Deal, explained," 21 Dec. 2018 High Pressure, High Temperature (H.P.H.T.) Scientists have been synthesizing diamonds for decades, producing the first gem-quality stones in the 1950s. New York Times, "How to Make a Synthetic Diamond," 29 May 2018 Vitamin B12 is a substance humans do not produce themselves yet need for a variety of important bodily functions like forming red blood cells, promoting neurological functioning, and synthesizing DNA. Cheryl Wischhover, Vox, "These new vape companies want you to inhale ... vitamins," 24 Oct. 2018 Students build on skills developed in the AP Seminar course by learning how to understand research methodology, employ ethical research practices, and collect, analyze, and synthesize information to build, present, and defend an argument. Shirley Macfarland,, "High school participates in innovative program that supports students' college success: Strong Points," 9 Feb. 2018 This is the quandary facing many biotech companies that specialize in synthesizing or printing DNA. Justin Chen, STAT, "In the age of mail-order DNA, a firm seeks to increase safety without slowing progress," 6 July 2018

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

1830, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

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Statistics for synthesize

Last Updated

16 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for synthesize

The first known use of synthesize was in 1830

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More Definitions for synthesize



English Language Learners Definition of synthesize

: to make (something) by combining different things
: to combine (things) in order to make something new
technical : to make (something) from simpler substances through a chemical process


syn·​the·​size | \ ˈsin-thə-ˌsīz How to pronounce synthesize (audio) \
synthesized; synthesizing

Kids Definition of synthesize

: to produce from the combination of simpler materials Plants synthesize starch from molecules of glucose.


transitive verb
variants: also British synthesise \ -​ˌsīz How to pronounce synthesise (audio) \
synthesized also British synthesised; synthesizing also British synthesising

Medical Definition of synthesize

: to combine or produce by synthesis synthesize penicillin

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Comments on synthesize

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


to move with exaggerated bouncy motions

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