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 At their core, most of these devices are simply equal parts synthesizer and sequencer, meaning that in one step individual drum sounds are synthesized, and in another, they are given a place in a repeating rhythmic sequence. Popular Science, "Four drum machines for hands-on beat making," 21 Jan. 2020 McDaniels is certainly smart enough to embrace and synthesize the data that will provided, and has already been a big proponent of it in his career. Mary Kay Cabot, cleveland, "Browns coach search: Paul DePodesta, Kevin Stefanski and Andrew Berry are one route to that elusive alignment," 8 Jan. 2020 This past fall the Colorado Education Association set out on a mission to synthesize and clarify what educators experience in their classrooms, how the public feels about education and the history of funding. Amie Baca-oehlert, The Denver Post, "Guest Commentary: Colorado teachers are ready to strike to fix a broken education system," 29 Nov. 2019 The International Literacy Association recently rebutted the phonics-first narrative with a report that synthesized evidence from decades of research on teaching children to read. Kindel Turner Nash, The Conversation, "There’s more than one good way to teach kids how to read," 21 Jan. 2020 Scientists found that that the Chinese man’s odd malady stems from gut bacteria that synthesize alcohol from his meals. Jon Cohen, Science | AAAS, "Microbe that got man drunk could help explain common liver disease," 19 Sep. 2019 Vitamin D is synthesized in skin when it's exposed to UVB wavelengths from the sun. Lisa Drayer, CNN, "Could sunscreen cause Vitamin D deficiency? Short answer: Yes," 18 Sep. 2019 No one can say exactly how or why fentanyl, first synthesized in 1959 as a powerful painkiller, entered the modern illicit drug market, said Bryce Pardo, a researcher at the Rand Corporation. Claire Galofaro And Lindsay Whitehurst,, "The rise and fall of an Eagle Scout’s deadly multimillion-dollar fentanyl trafficking empire," 14 Sep. 2019 In 2015, Houseley and his colleagues described a mechanism by which yeast cells seemed to be driving extra copy number variation in genes associated with ribosomes, the parts of a cell that synthesize proteins. Quanta Magazine, "Beating the Odds for Lucky Mutations," 16 Aug. 2017

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

10 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Synthesize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Feb. 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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