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verb (used with object), am·pli·fied, am·pli·fy·ing.
  1. to make larger, greater, or stronger; enlarge; extend.
  2. to expand in stating or describing, as by details or illustrations; clarify by expanding.
  3. Electricity. to increase the amplitude of; cause amplification in.
  4. Archaic. to exaggerate.
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verb (used without object), am·pli·fied, am·pli·fy·ing.
  1. to discourse at length; expatiate or expand one's remarks, speech, etc. (usually followed by on): The preacher amplified on the theme of brotherly love.
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Origin of amplify

1375–1425; late Middle English amplifyen < Middle French amplifier < Latin amplificāre to increase, augment. See ample, -ify
Related formsam·pli·fi·a·ble, adjectiveo·ver·am·pli·fy, verb, o·ver·am·pli·fied, o·ver·am·pli·fy·ing.un·am·pli·fi·a·ble, adjectiveun·am·pli·fied, adjective


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for amplify


verb -fies, -fying or -fied
  1. (tr) to increase in size, extent, effect, etc, as by the addition of extra material; augment; enlarge; expand
  2. electronics to produce amplification of (electrical signals); increase the amplitude of (signals)
  3. (tr) US to exaggerate
  4. (intr) to expand or enlarge a speech, narrative, etc
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Derived Formsamplifiable, adjective

Word Origin

C15: from Old French amplifier, ultimately from Latin amplificāre to enlarge, from amplus spacious + facere to make
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 amplify


early 15c., "to enlarge or expand," from Middle French amplifier, from Latin amplificare "to enlarge," from amplificus "splendid," from amplus "large" (see ample) + the root of facere "make, do" (see factitious). Meaning "augment in volume or amount" is from 1570s. Restriction of use to sound seems to have emerged in the electronic age, c.1915, in reference to radio technology.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper