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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web But Kelvin says production equipment probably shares some elements with the equipment that’s used in the lab to synthesize oligonucleotides, short segments of DNA or RNA, for research. Popular Science, "Ramping up COVID-19 vaccine production is harder than it seems," 19 Feb. 2021 That team, like this one, teemed with defensive talent and needed an outsider, Coach Jon Gruden, to synthesize it into a champion. New York Times, "Tom Brady’s 7th Super Bowl Win Ends N.F.L.’s Most Challenging Year," 7 Feb. 2021 The field of artificial intelligence (AI) has created computers that can drive cars, synthesize chemical compounds, fold proteins and detect high-energy particles at a superhuman level. Forest Agostinelli, The Conversation, "How explainable artificial intelligence can help humans innovate," 13 Jan. 2021 But the technology is expensive, costing up to $3500 to synthesize 1 megabit of information. Robert F. Service, Science | AAAS, "Scientists ‘program’ living bacteria to store data," 11 Jan. 2021 Chemists figured out how to synthesize small molecules to interact with certain proteins in the human body. Annabelle Timsit, Quartz, "Moderna and BioNTech are changing pharma with drastically different business models," 23 Dec. 2020 If, for instance, a user searches for a woman whose transport to the Americas is documented in one database but whose later life is recorded in another, the portal can connect these details and synthesize them. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian Magazine, "Who Were America’s Enslaved? A New Database Humanizes the Names Behind the Numbers," 11 Dec. 2020 Once our meeting was over, Headroom’s software would synthesize the concepts from the transcript; identify key topics, dates, ideas, and action items; and finally, spit out a record that could be searched at a later time. Arielle Pardes, Wired, "AI Can Run Your Work Meetings Now," 24 Nov. 2020 Like a mature human liver, these synthetic livers were able to store, synthesize and metabolize nutrients. Mo Ebrahimkhani, The Conversation, "Genetic engineering transformed stem cells into working mini-livers that extended the life of mice with liver disease," 7 Dec. 2020

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.

See More

First Known Use of synthesize

1830, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about synthesize

Time Traveler for synthesize

Time Traveler

The first known use of synthesize was in 1830

See more words from the same year

Statistics for synthesize

Last Updated

4 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Synthesize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

Keep scrolling for more

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 synthesize (audio) \
synthesized also British synthesised; synthesizing also British synthesising

Medical Definition of synthesize

: to combine or produce by synthesis synthesize penicillin

Keep scrolling for more

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).


Test Your Vocabulary

Who Knew?

How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!