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[uh-mendz] /əˈmɛndz/
noun, (used with a singular or plural verb)
reparation or compensation for a loss, damage, or injury of any kind; recompense.
Obsolete. improvement; recovery, as of health.
make amends, to compensate, as for an injury, loss, or insult:
I tried to make amends for the misunderstanding by sending her flowers.
Origin of amends
1275-1325; Middle English amendes < Middle French, plural of amende reparation, noun derivative of amender to amend
1. redress, restitution.


[uh-mend] /əˈmɛnd/
verb (used with object)
to alter, modify, rephrase, or add to or subtract from (a motion, bill, constitution, etc.) by formal procedure:
Congress may amend the proposed tax bill.
to change for the better; improve:
to amend one's ways.
Synonyms: ameliorate, better.
Antonyms: worsen.
to remove or correct faults in; rectify.
verb (used without object)
to grow or become better by reforming oneself:
He amends day by day.
Synonyms: improve, ameliorate.
Antonyms: worsen.
1175-1225; Middle English amenden < Old French amender < Latin ēmendāre “to correct,” equivalent to ē- e-1 + mend(a) “blemish” + -āre infinitive suffix
Related forms
amendable, adjective
amender, noun
nonamendable, adjective
reamend, verb
unamendable, adjective
unamended, adjective
unamending, adjective
well-amended, adjective
Synonym Study
3. Amend, emend both mean to improve by correcting or by freeing from error. Amend is the general term, used of any such correction in detail: to amend spelling, punctuation, grammar. Emend usually applies to the correction of a text in the process of editing or preparing for publication; it implies improvement in the sense of greater accuracy: He emended the text of the play by restoring the original reading. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for amends
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • What riches, or honours, or pleasures, can make us amends for the loss of innocence?

    Joseph Andrews Vol. 1 Henry Fielding
  • This she could not understand, for she had expected an apology as the very least amends he could make.

  • I owe you some amends, for you have had a narrow escape of your life this night.

  • What amends could he make for the treachery of his little gunboat?

  • You will meet my abstinence by the only amends you can make to me.

  • Please stay, Jimps; it's the only amends we can make you, and you must be as hungry as a bear.

    Under the Country Sky Grace S. Richmond
  • I'm sure you have made all the amends in your power, and we are much obliged to you.

    Jack of Both Sides Florence Coombe
  • The least amends I could make was to see that at all events they did not want for the necessities of existence.

    Novel Notes Jerome K. Jerome
  • Your protection, so that I may die in peace, trying to make some amends for the past.

    Hunting the Skipper George Manville Fenn
British Dictionary definitions for amends


(functioning as sing) recompense or compensation given or gained for some injury, insult, etc: to make amends
Word Origin
C13: from Old French amendes fines, from amende compensation, from amender to emend


verb (transitive)
to improve; change for the better
to remove faults from; correct
to alter or revise (legislation, a constitution, etc) by formal procedure
Derived Forms
amendable, adjective
amender, noun
Word Origin
C13: from Old French amender, from Latin ēmendāre to emend
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for amends

early 14c., "restitution," collective singular, from Old French amendes "fine, penalty," plural of amende "reparation," from amender "to amend" (see amend).



early 13c., "to free from faults, rectify," from Old French amender (12c.), from Latin emendare "to correct, free from fault," from ex- "out" (see ex-) + menda "fault, blemish," from PIE *mend- "physical defect, fault" (cf. Sanskrit minda "physical blemish," Old Irish mennar "stain, blemish," Welsh mann "sign, mark").

Supplanted in senses of "repair, cure" by its shortened offspring mend (v.). Meaning "to add to legislation" (ostensibly to correct or improve it) is recorded from 1777. Related: Amended; amending.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with amends


The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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