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See more synonyms for edify on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with object), ed·i·fied, ed·i·fy·ing.
  1. to instruct or benefit, especially morally or spiritually; uplift: religious paintings that edify the viewer.
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Origin of edify

1300–50; Middle English edifien < Anglo-French, Old French edifier < Latin aedificāre to build, equivalent to aedi- (stem of aedes) house, temple + -ficāre -fy
Related formsed·i·fi·er, nouned·i·fy·ing·ly, adverbnon·ed·i·fied, adjectivere·ed·i·fy, verb (used with object), re·ed·i·fied, re·ed·i·fy·ing.un·ed·i·fied, adjectiveun·ed·i·fy·ing, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for edify

Historical Examples

  • But your mirth-makers, can you say they benefit the body or edify the soul?



  • Contains also remarks on terraces, which are expected to edify.

    From a Terrace in Prague

    Lieut.-Col. B. Granville Baker

  • Its aim is not to instruct, not to edify, but to awaken an emotion.

    American Men of Mind

    Burton E. Stevenson

  • What shocks one part will edify the rest, Nor with one system can they all be blest.

    Essay on Man

    Alexander Pope

  • He had no idea even now how bad matters were, nor did she care to edify him.

British Dictionary definitions for edify


verb -fies, -fying or -fied
  1. (tr) to improve the morality, intellect, etc, of, esp by instruction
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Derived Formsedifier, nounedifying, adjectiveedifyingly, adverb

Word Origin

C14: from Old French edifier, from Latin aedificāre to construct, from aedēs a dwelling, temple + 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 edify


mid-14c., "to build, construct," also, in figurative use, "to build up morally or in faith," from Old French edefiier "build, install, teach, instruct (morally)," from Latin aedificare "to build, construct," in Late Latin "improve spiritually, instruct" (see edifice). Related: Edified; edifying.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper