syn·​the·​size | \ˈsin(t)-thə-ˌsīz \
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

Watson for Oncology was supposed to synthesize enormous amounts of data and come up with novel insights. Angela Chen, The Verge, "IBM’s Watson gave unsafe recommendations for treating cancer," 26 July 2018 Accordingly, 9 can effortlessly synthesize large quantities of stimuli, psychically connecting the dots to form a cohesive whole. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "The Basics of Numerology: How to Calculate Your Life Path and Destiny Numbers," 16 July 2018 The results, said Glanzman, suggest that memories may be stored within the nucleus of neurons, where RNA is synthesized and can act on DNA to turn genes on and off. Usha Lee Mcfarling, STAT, "Memory transferred between snails, challenging standard theory of how the brain remembers," 14 May 2018 But these changes in ocean temperatures are not steady or even, and scientists have lacked the tools to define, synthesize and understand the global patterns of marine heatwaves and their biological impacts. Smithsonian, "Ocean Heatwaves Are Getting Longer and More Intense," 2 June 2018 Software translates those instructions into DNA sequences that are synthesized and mixed together. Rachel Nuwer, Scientific American, "Programming a DNA Clock," 21 Feb. 2018 A few months later, Mechoulam used it to, for the first time in history, isolate, elucidate the structure of and fully synthesize tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis. Yardena Schwartz, Newsweek, "The Outsourcing of American Marijuana Research," 17 Dec. 2015 That's different from the usual approach, which involves trying to synthesize an antivenom tailored to a particular critter's toxic cocktail. Meghan Bartels, Newsweek, "Killer Centipede Murders Mice in 30 Seconds With Spasm-Inducing 'Spooky Toxin' Also Fatal to Humans," 22 Jan. 2018 That liturgical influence pervades his beats, which allow artists like Future, Gucci Mane, and Nicki Minaj to seamlessly synthesize the sacred and the profane. Hannah Giorgis, The Atlantic, "The Cathartic Symphony of Future’s Beast Mode 2," 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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Last Updated

15 Dec 2018

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

: to make (something) from simpler substances through a chemical process


syn·​the·​size | \ˈsin-thə-ˌsīz \
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 \
synthesized also British synthesised; synthesizing also British synthesising

Medical Definition of synthesize 

: to combine or produce by synthesis synthesize penicillin

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More from Merriam-Webster on synthesize

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with synthesize

Spanish Central: Translation of synthesize

Nglish: Translation of synthesize for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of synthesize for Arabic Speakers

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 make faulty or ineffective

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