follow Dictionary.com

Know these essential literary terms?

magnify

[mag-nuh-fahy] /ˈmæg nəˌfaɪ/
verb (used with object), magnified, magnifying.
1.
to increase the apparent size of, as a lens does.
2.
to make greater in actual size; enlarge:
to magnify a drawing in preparing for a fresco.
3.
to cause to seem greater or more important; attribute too much importance to; exaggerate:
to magnify one's difficulties.
4.
to make more exciting; intensify; dramatize; heighten:
The playwright magnified the conflict to get her point across.
5.
Archaic. to extol; praise:
to magnify the Lord.
verb (used without object), magnified, magnifying.
6.
to increase or be able to increase the apparent or actual size of an object.
Origin
1350-1400
1350-1400; Middle English magnifien < Latin magnificāre. See magni-, -fy
Related forms
magnifiable, adjective
overmagnify, verb (used with object), overmagnified, overmagnifying.
remagnify, verb (used with object), remagnified, remagnifying.
unmagnified, adjective
unmagnifying, adjective
Synonyms
2. augment, increase, amplify. 3. overstate.
Antonyms
1, 2. reduce. 3. minimize.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for magnify
  • Down the road, this crisis will magnify as doctors leave this demanding field or retire.
  • Urban development can magnify the risk of environmental hazards such as flash flooding.
  • Obviously the process of the sort will magnify the cars probabilities in these remaining boxes.
  • Conventional microscopes use lenses to magnify whatever is in the line of sight.
  • Another method uses an intervening star to gravitationally magnify the light from a more distant star with planets.
  • Their heavily leveraged balance sheets magnify even a small rise in delinquencies.
  • Derivatives' tendency to magnify problems has led to calls for regulators to ban some types.
  • Many exhibit the onset of traits that evolution would magnify in later species.
  • To manually focus you will use the electronic viewfinder and have it magnify a section of the image for you.
  • Use the zoom tool, below at the right, to magnify the text.
British Dictionary definitions for magnify

magnify

/ˈmæɡnɪˌfaɪ/
verb -fies, -fying, -fied
1.
to increase, cause to increase, or be increased in apparent size, as through the action of a lens, microscope, etc
2.
to exaggerate or become exaggerated in importance: don't magnify your troubles
3.
(transitive) (rare) to increase in actual size
4.
(transitive) (archaic) to glorify
Derived Forms
magnifiable, adjective
Word Origin
C14: via Old French from Latin magnificāre to praise; see magnific
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for magnify
v.

late 14c., "to speak or act for the glory or honor (of someone or something)," from Old French magnefiier "glorify, magnify," from Latin magnificare "esteem greatly, extol, make much of," from magnificus "great, elevated, noble" (see magnificence). Meaning "use a telescope or microscope" is first attested 1660s, said to be a unique development in English. Related: Magnified; magnifying.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
magnify in Medicine

magnify mag·ni·fy (māg'nə-fī')
v. mag·ni·fied, mag·ni·fy·ing, mag·ni·fies
To increase the apparent size of, especially with a lens.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for magnify

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for magnify

16
18
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with magnify