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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
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • In some places, owing to the obscurity of the original text, I have had to amplify the translation.

    Deccan Nursery Tales Charles Augustus Kincaid
  • This defence is enough, but it is easy to amplify and reintrench it.

    Joseph Andrews Vol. 1 Henry Fielding
  • When you are satisfied with one, enlarge it to full size, correct and amplify it, and improve it in form and detail.

    Line and Form (1900) Walter Crane
  • Rabbi Jeiteles interrupted his class to amplify upon the passage just read.

    Rabbi and Priest Milton Goldsmith
  • Opposition made it necessary to define his position, and threat made it wise to amplify and explain.

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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