[ mend ]
See synonyms for: mendmendedmendingmendable on

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.

  1. to set right; make better; improve: to mend matters.

verb (used without object)
  1. to progress toward recovery, as a sick person.

  2. (of broken bones) to grow back together; knit.

  1. to improve, as conditions or affairs.

  1. the act of mending; repair or improvement.

  2. a mended place.

Idioms about mend

  1. mend sail, Nautical. to refurl sails that have been badly furled.: Also mend the furl .

  2. on the mend,

    • recovering from an illness.

    • improving in general, as a state of affairs: The breach between father and son is on the mend.

Origin of mend

1150–1200; Middle English menden, aphetic variant of amend

synonym study For mend

1. 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.

Other words for mend

Opposites for mend

Other words from mend

  • mend·a·ble, adjective
  • re·mend, verb
  • un·mend·a·ble, adjective
  • un·mend·ed, adjective
  • well-mended, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use mend in a sentence

  • Thirdly, to mend themselves, and the existing state of things, as far as either are marred or mendable.

British Dictionary definitions for mend


/ (mɛnd) /

  1. (tr) to repair (something broken or unserviceable)

  2. to improve or undergo improvement; reform (often in the phrase mend one's ways)

  1. (intr) to heal or recover

  2. (intr) (of conditions) to improve; become better

  3. (tr) Northern English to feed or stir (a fire)

  1. the act of repairing

  2. a mended area, esp on a garment

  1. on the mend becoming better, esp in health

Origin of mend

C12: shortened from amend

Derived forms of mend

  • mendable, adjective
  • mender, noun

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with mend


In addition to the idioms beginning with mend

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

also see:

  • on the mend

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