verb (used with object)
to make (something broken, worn, torn, or otherwise damaged) whole, sound, or usable by repairing: to mend old clothes; to mend a broken toy.
to remove or correct defects or errors in.
to set right; make better; improve: to mend matters.
verb (used without object)
to progress toward recovery, as a sick person.
(of broken bones) to grow back together; knit.
to improve, as conditions or affairs.
the act of mending; repair or improvement.
a mended place.
mend sail, Nautical. to refurl sails that have been badly furled. Also, mend the furl.
on the mend,
recovering from an illness.
improving in general, as a state of affairs: The breach between father and son is on the mend.

1150–1200; Middle English menden, aphetic variant of amend

mendable, adjective
remend, verb
unmendable, adjective
unmended, adjective
well-mended, adjective

1. fix, restore, retouch. Mend, darn, patch mean to repair something and thus renew its usefulness. Mend is a general expression that emphasizes the idea of making whole something damaged: to mend a broken dish, a tear in an apron. Darn and patch are more specific, referring particularly to repairing holes or rents. To darn is to repair by means of stitches interwoven with one another: to darn stockings. To patch is to cover a hole or rent (usually) with a piece or pieces of similar material and to secure the edges of these; it implies a more temporary or makeshift repair than the others: to patch the knees of trousers, a rubber tire. 2. rectify, amend, emend. 3. ameliorate, meliorate. 4. heal, recover, amend.

1. ruin, destroy, 4. die, sicken. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To mend
World English Dictionary
mend (mɛnd)
1.  (tr) to repair (something broken or unserviceable)
2.  to improve or undergo improvement; reform (often in the phrase mend one's ways)
3.  (intr) to heal or recover
4.  (intr) (of conditions) to improve; become better
5.  (Northern English) (tr) to feed or stir (a fire)
6.  the act of repairing
7.  a mended area, esp on a garment
8.  on the mend becoming better, esp in health
[C12: shortened from amend]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

c.1200, "to free from sin or fault, improve morally," from an aphetic form of O.Fr. amender (see amend). Meaning "to fix something torn or broken" is from mid-14c.; that of "to regain health" is from c.1500. Related: Mended; mending.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


In addition to the idioms beginning with mend, also see on the mend.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
Cite This Source
Example sentences
Supporters of the campaign also say that it will be an attempt to mend
  relations with.
Unable to hunt, it died-likely of starvation-before its injury could mend.
So, even if it threatens the waistline, a good marriage might actually help
  mend broken hearts.
You'll have said what's on your heart, and they'll see the light and mend their
Idioms & Phrases
Copyright © 2014, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature