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

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 Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience are an ambitious, personal, and not entirely successful effort to synthesize the band’s personal history and career-spanning passions into a kind of two-part concept album. Scott Meslow, GQ, "How to Become a U2 Fan," 11 May 2018 All this, combined with advances in audio editing that let software synthesize speech in virtually any voice, open a whole Pandora's box of possibilities. Eric Limer, Popular Mechanics, "Soon, You Won't Even Know If You're Talking to a Robot," 8 May 2018 For genomes, that means synthesizing DNA one nucleotide at a time and stringing together thousands of them. Sharon Begley, STAT, "Genome ‘writers’ set their first goal: recoding human cells to resist viruses," 1 May 2018 Hydrogen is currently used to upgrade crude oil and synthesize ammonia, a critical building block of the fertilizers applied in modern agriculture. Melissa C. Lott, Scientific American, "This Advance Brings Us a Lot Closer to a "Hydrogen Economy"," 1 May 2017 By 1960, scientists had determined that the molecule is synthesized inside cells by an enzyme known as ATP synthase. Deborah Netburn,, "Paul Boyer, who was awed by cells and won a Nobel Prize for deducing how they use energy, dies at 99," 7 June 2018 His team was the first to devise a method to synthesize the vitamin folic acid. Aaron Gilbreath, Longreads, "We Are Scientists," 5 June 2018 So synthesizing a whole gene will still likely take the better part of a day. Robert F. Service, Science | AAAS, "New technique could help scientists create a gene in just 1 day," 18 June 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

6 Oct 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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