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mend

[mend]
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verb (used with object)
  1. to make (something broken, worn, torn, or otherwise damaged) whole, sound, or usable by repairing: to mend old clothes; to mend a broken toy.
  2. to remove or correct defects or errors in.
  3. to set right; make better; improve: to mend matters.
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verb (used without object)
  1. to progress toward recovery, as a sick person.
  2. (of broken bones) to grow back together; knit.
  3. to improve, as conditions or affairs.
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noun
  1. the act of mending; repair or improvement.
  2. a mended place.
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Idioms
  1. mend sail, Nautical. to refurl sails that have been badly furled.Also mend the furl.
  2. on the mend,
    1. recovering from an illness.
    2. improving in general, as a state of affairs: The breach between father and son is on the mend.
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Origin of mend

1150–1200; Middle English menden, aphetic variant of amend
Related formsmend·a·ble, adjectivere·mend, verbun·mend·a·ble, adjectiveun·mend·ed, adjectivewell-mend·ed, adjective

Synonyms

See more synonyms for mend on Thesaurus.com
1. fix, restore, retouch. Mend, darn, patch mean to repair something and thus renew its usefulness. Mend is a general expression that emphasizes the idea of making whole something damaged: to mend a broken dish, a tear in an apron. Darn and patch are more specific, referring particularly to repairing holes or tears. To darn is to repair by means of stitches interwoven with one another: to darn stockings. To patch is to cover a hole or tear, usually with a piece or pieces of similar material and to secure the edges of these; it implies a more temporary or makeshift repair than the others: to patch the knees of trousers, a rubber tire. 2. rectify, amend, emend. 3. ameliorate, meliorate. 4. heal, recover, amend.

Antonyms

1. ruin, destroy, 4. die, sicken.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for mend

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Thus came everything in to help the youth who had begun to mend his ways.

    Weighed and Wanting

    George MacDonald

  • "The more reason that I should strive to mend him," quoth Alleyne.

    The White Company

    Arthur Conan Doyle

  • Siegfried is his name, and only he who knows no fear can mend the sword.

  • I will mend the sword and Siegfried shall use it to slay the dragon.

  • "Yes, that was it," Roland put in hastily, seeing his chance to mend matters.

    The Fortune Hunter

    Louis Joseph Vance


British Dictionary definitions for mend

mend

verb
  1. (tr) to repair (something broken or unserviceable)
  2. to improve or undergo improvement; reform (often in the phrase mend one's ways)
  3. (intr) to heal or recover
  4. (intr) (of conditions) to improve; become better
  5. (tr) Northern English to feed or stir (a fire)
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noun
  1. the act of repairing
  2. a mended area, esp on a garment
  3. on the mend becoming better, esp in health
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Derived Formsmendable, adjectivemender, noun

Word Origin

C12: shortened from amend
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 mend

v.

c.1200, "to repair," from a shortened form of Old French amender (see amend). Meaning "to put right, atone for, amend (one's life), repent" is from c.1300; that of "to regain health" is from early 15c. Related: Mended; mending.

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n.

early 14c., "recompense, reparation," from mend (v.). Meaning "act of mending; a repaired hole or rip in fabric" is from 1888. Phrase on the mend attested from 1802.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with mend

mend

In addition to the idioms beginning with mend

  • mend one's fences
  • mend one's ways

also see:

  • on the mend
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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.