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 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 But Chesterton was right to think that trying to synthesize Nietzsche and socialism — and ultimately communism — was to produce fool’s gold and destructive illusions. M. D. Aeschliman, National Review, "G. K. Chesterton and George Bernard Shaw: An Ambivalent Literary Relationship," 5 Dec. 2020 The formula is also purportedly the first to include bacteria strains that synthesize folate (needed to produce red and white blood cells) and increase folate production in the body as well. Sian Babish,, "Seed Probiotics review: Can this shelf-stable probiotic subscription improve gut function?," 7 Nov. 2020 Facebook’s complex advertising system is able to synthesize data from different sources to identify these traits in users and direct targeted messages at them. Sidney Fussell, Wired, "Facebook Tweaked Its Rules, but You Can Still Target Voters," 12 Oct. 2020 This technique, developed in the 1980s, uses the ability of DNA polymerase chains to synthesize new strands and make billions of copies of the sequences that are unique to the virus. Washington Post, "Frequent testing could not insulate the president from the coronavirus," 2 Oct. 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.

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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

28 Dec 2020

Cite this Entry

“Synthesize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jan. 2021.

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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 synthesize (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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