[ sim-pluh-fahy ]
See synonyms for simplify on
verb (used with object),sim·pli·fied, sim·pli·fy·ing.
  1. 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 simplussimple) + -ficāre-fy

Other words from simplify

  • sim·pli·fi·ca·tion, noun
  • sim·pli·fi·ca·tive, adjective
  • sim·pli·fi·er, sim·pli·fi·ca·tor, noun
  • non·sim·pli·fi·ca·tion, noun
  • su·per·sim·pli·fy, verb (used with object), su·per·sim·pli·fied, su·per·sim·pli·fy·ing.
  • un·sim·pli·fied, adjective
  • un·sim·pli·fy·ing, adjective

Words that may be confused with simplify Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use simplify in a sentence

  • Strong predilections are rather a blessing; they're simplifying.

    The Tragic Muse | Henry James
  • He had a powerful memory, and great facilities for mastering and simplifying sciences as well as languages.

  • He haunted the abbey as usual and sat a long time in its simplifying stillness, turning over many things.

    The Tragic Muse | Henry James
  • She felt a great deal as she did so, but her feelings were too deep and delicate for the simplifying process of speech.

    Tales Of Men And Ghosts | Edith Wharton
  • There has been much confusion in making classifications and some ingenious plans have been evolved for simplifying the process.

    Thought-Culture | William Walker Atkinson

British Dictionary definitions for simplify


/ (ˈsɪmplɪˌfaɪ) /

verb-fies, -fying or -fied (tr)
  1. to make less complicated, clearer, or easier

  2. maths to reduce (an equation, fraction, etc) to a simpler form by cancellation of common factors, regrouping of terms in the same variable, etc

Origin of simplify

C17: via French from Medieval Latin simplificāre, from Latin simplus simple + facere to make

Derived forms of simplify

  • simplification, noun
  • simplificative, adjective
  • simplifier, 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