verb (used with object), sim·pli·fied, sim·pli·fy·ing.

to make less complex or complicated; make plainer or easier: to simplify a problem.

Origin of simplify

1645–55; < French simplifier < Medieval Latin simplificāre to make simple, equivalent to Latin simpli- (combining form of simplus simple) + -ficāre -fy
Related formssim·pli·fi·ca·tion, nounsim·pli·fi·ca·tive, adjectivesim·pli·fi·er, sim·pli·fi·ca·tor, nounnon·sim·pli·fi·ca·tion, nounsu·per·sim·pli·fy, verb (used with object), su·per·sim·pli·fied, su·per·sim·pli·fy·ing.un·sim·pli·fied, adjectiveun·sim·pli·fy·ing, adjective
Can be confusedsimple simplified simplistic Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for simplify

Contemporary Examples of simplify

Historical Examples of simplify

  • Can we not simplify life as we are simplifying the machinery of industry?

    The Book of Khalid

    Ameen Rihani

  • And when the world is ripe for it another will come and simplify that.

  • Special fittings are provided to simplify the work of burning.

  • Perhaps some may ask what harm it will do, to simplify language, when talking to children.

    The Teacher

    Jacob Abbott

  • All I ask is that you should simplify the matter by telling me what occurred at your interview.

    The Grell Mystery

    Frank Froest

British Dictionary definitions for simplify


verb -fies, -fying or -fied (tr)

to make less complicated, clearer, or easier
maths to reduce (an equation, fraction, etc) to a simpler form by cancellation of common factors, regrouping of terms in the same variable, etc
Derived Formssimplification, nounsimplificative, adjectivesimplifier, noun

Word Origin for simplify

C17: via French from Medieval Latin simplificāre, from Latin simplus simple + 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 simplify

1650s, from French simplifier "to make simpler" (15c.), from Medieval Latin simplificare "to simplify," from Latin simplex "simple" (see simplex) + root of facere "to make" (see factitious). Meaning "to make easier to do" is from 1759. Related: Simplified; simplifying.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper