[am-pluh-fi-key-shuh n]
See more synonyms for amplification on
  1. the act of amplifying or the state of being amplified.
  2. expansion of a statement, narrative, etc., as for rhetorical purposes: In the revision, the story underwent considerable amplification.
  3. a statement, narrative, etc., so expanded: The text of the second edition was an amplification.
  4. the matter or substance used to expand an idea, statement, or the like: He added an extra paragraph to his speech as an amplification.
  5. Electricity. increase in the strength of current, voltage, or power.
  6. Genetics. gene amplification.

Origin of amplification

First recorded in 1540–50, amplification is from the Latin word amplificātiōn- (stem of amplificātiō). See ample, -i-, -fication

gene amplification

noun Genetics.
  1. an increase in the frequency of replication of a DNA segment.
  2. such an increase induced by a polymerase chain reaction.

Origin of gene amplification

First recorded in 1970–75
Also called genetic amplification, DNA amplification. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for amplification

Contemporary Examples of amplification

Historical Examples of amplification

British Dictionary definitions for amplification


  1. the act or result of amplifying
  2. material added to a statement, story, etc, in order to expand or clarify it
  3. a statement, story, etc, with such additional material
  4. electronics
    1. the increase in strength of an electrical signal by means of an amplifier
    2. another word for gain 1 (def. 13)
  5. Also called: gene amplification genetics the production of multiple copies of a particular gene or DNA sequence. It can occur naturally or artificially, by genetic engineering techniques
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

Word Origin and History for amplification

1540s, "enlargement," from Latin amplificationem (nominative amplificatio) "a widening, extending," noun of action from past participle stem of amplificare (see amplify). Electronics sense is from 1915.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

amplification in Medicine


  1. The process of increasing the magnitude of a variable quantity, especially the magnitude of voltage, power, or current, without altering any other quality.
  2. The result of such a process.
  3. The process by which genes or DNA sequences are copied in an organism or in the laboratory.

gene amplification

  1. A cellular process characterized by the production of copies of a gene or genes to amplify the phenotype that the gene confers on the cell.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

amplification in Science


  1. An increase in the magnitude or strength of an electric current, a force, or another physical quantity, such as a radio signal.

gene amplification

  1. An increase in the number of copies of a gene in a cell, resulting in an elevation in the level of the RNA or protein encoded for by the gene and a corresponding amplification of the phenotype that the gene confers on the cell. Drug resistance in cancer cells is linked to amplification of the gene that prevents absorption of the chemotherapeutic agent by the cell.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

amplification in Culture

gene amplification

A process in a cell by which a particular gene is replicated so that more copies are available to produce a protein for the cell's use. For example, the genes that code for proteins involved in ribosomes are amplified early in the process of cell development so that there are sufficient numbers of them to assemble the cell.


PCR, polymerase chain reaction, can be considered a type of man-made gene amplification process.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.