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[am-pluh-fahy] /ˈæm pləˌfaɪ/
verb (used with object), amplified, amplifying.
to make larger, greater, or stronger; enlarge; extend.
to expand in stating or describing, as by details or illustrations; clarify by expanding.
Electricity. to increase the amplitude of; cause amplification in.
Archaic. to exaggerate.
verb (used without object), amplified, amplifying.
to discourse at length; expatiate or expand one's remarks, speech, etc. (usually followed by on):
The preacher amplified on the theme of brotherly love.
Origin of amplify
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English amplifyen < Middle French amplifier < Latin amplificāre to increase, augment. See ample, -ify
Related forms
amplifiable, adjective
overamplify, verb, overamplified, overamplifying.
unamplifiable, adjective
unamplified, adjective
1. increase, intensify, heighten. 2. widen, broaden, develop.
1. contract, reduce. 2. condense, abridge. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for amplify
  • It can increase happiness, amplify a sense of well-being and even comfort sadness.
  • The transistor, aka point-contact transistor, is a semiconductor device that can amplify or switch electrical signals.
  • Sometimes advances in technology amplify that, but they rarely are the root cause.
  • It tended to amplify the sorts of feelings that inhibit cooperation.
  • It can mildly amplify or suppress such things, but is not the main driver of it.
  • The small, irregular movements a cup sees can also amplify liquid motion and thus spilling.
  • Whatever outreach you might engage in, social media will amplify, allowing you to expand your efforts.
  • Our illusions regarding control cause us to dismiss the dangers of proximal risk and amplify those of distant and unlikely risks.
  • Perhaps someday, we'll have drugs that can really amplify intellectual functions, while exacting a delayed price.
  • If not the estimation process will amplify any errors int the estimate.
British Dictionary definitions for amplify


verb -fies, -fying, -fied
(transitive) to increase in size, extent, effect, etc, as by the addition of extra material; augment; enlarge; expand
(electronics) to produce amplification of (electrical signals); increase the amplitude of (signals)
(transitive) (US) to exaggerate
(intransitive) to expand or enlarge a speech, narrative, etc
Derived Forms
amplifiable, adjective
Word Origin
C15: from Old French amplifier, ultimately from Latin amplificāre to enlarge, from amplus spacious + 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
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Word Origin and History for amplify

early 15c., "to enlarge or expand," from Middle French amplifier, from Latin amplificare "to enlarge," from amplificus "splendid," from amplus "large" (see ample) + the root of facere "make, do" (see factitious). Meaning "augment in volume or amount" is from 1570s. Restriction of use to sound seems to have emerged in the electronic age, c.1915, in reference to radio technology.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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