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 This ejects freshly synthesized elements that mix with interstellar gas and eventually form stars and galaxies. Rachel Berkowitz, Scientific American, "Mapping the Remains of Supernovae," 22 Dec. 2019 The religious leaders plan to vote on a final document synthesizing proposals to better protect the Amazon rainforest and minister to its indigenous peoples. Fox News, "Pope Francis asks for forgiveness after Amazon statues stolen, thrown into river in Rome," 26 Oct. 2019 The drama is heavier, the composition a layered mix of orchestration, acoustic instruments and synthesized atmopshere. Kat Bein, Billboard, "Gryffin's Debut LP 'Gravity' Is Heavy With Star Cameos," 25 Oct. 2019 Starting from simple chemicals that were likely to be present on the early Earth, researchers have proposed pathways that can synthesize both types of bases, with rings being formed by a reaction that chemically links a precursor to the sugar. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Single reaction mixture can produce all four RNA bases," 4 Oct. 2019 The most famous person associated with digisexuality is probably Akihiko Kondo, a Japanese man who in 2018 married a hologram of Hatsune Miku, a 16-year-old virtual pop star, a piece of voice synthesizing software developed by Crypton Future Media. Emma Grey Ellis, WIRED, "You Are Already Having Sex With Robots," 23 Aug. 2019 Grunenthal synthesized tramadol in the 1960s, as the company was embroiled in scandal over its marketing of the sedative thalidomide, which caused extreme birth defects in thousands of babies whose mothers took it. Washington Post, "`Safer opioid’ has sparked a crisis in vulnerable countries," 13 Dec. 2019 Previous teams synthesized pins from hydroxyapatite, a major component in human and animal bones. Eva Frederick, Science | AAAS, "Dog bones could help patch broken bird wings," 21 Nov. 2019 Kid Loki predated Baby Yoda by several years and successfully synthesized the Machiavellian mastermind Loki of Marvel comics with the angsty heartthrob Loki of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Christian Holub,, "The best comics of the decade," 21 Nov. 2019

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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Time Traveler for synthesize

Time Traveler

The first known use of synthesize was in 1830

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Statistics for synthesize

Last Updated

13 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Synthesize.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 22 January 2020.

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More Definitions for synthesize


How to pronounce synthesize (audio)

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

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