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[sim-pluh-fahy] /ˈsɪm pləˌfaɪ/
verb (used with object), simplified, simplifying.
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 simplus simple) + -ficāre -fy
Related forms
simplification, noun
simplificative, adjective
simplifier, simplificator, noun
nonsimplification, noun
supersimplify, verb (used with object), supersimplified, supersimplifying.
unsimplified, adjective
unsimplifying, adjective
Can be confused
simple, simplified, simplistic. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for simplify
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Others have and confess the tendency to simplify everything.

    The Book of Masks Remy de Gourmont
  • That will simplify the whole matter, and trouble will cease.

  • I could not simplify myself, so the only thing left for me to do was to blot myself out altogether.

    Virgin Soil Ivan S. Turgenev
  • The hand of time had played over her freely, but only to simplify.

  • He did not hesitate to simplify or to distort if he could get nearer to that unknown thing he sought.

    The Moon and Sixpence W. Somerset Maugham
British Dictionary definitions for simplify


verb (transitive) -fies, -fying, -fied
to make less complicated, clearer, or easier
(maths) to reduce (an equation, fraction, etc) to a simpler form by cancellation of common factors, regrouping of terms in the same variable, etc
Derived Forms
simplification, noun
simplificative, adjective
simplifier, noun
Word Origin
C17: via French from Medieval Latin simplificāre, from Latin simplus simple + 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 simplify

1650s, from French simplifier "to make simpler" (15c.), from Medieval Latin simplificare "to simplify," from Latin simplex "simple" (see simplex) + root of facere "to make" (see factitious). Meaning "to make easier to do" is from 1759. Related: Simplified; simplifying.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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