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See also: Amend and amend.


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From Middle English amenden, from Old French amender, from Latin ēmendō (free from faults), from ex (from, out of) + mendum (fault). Compare aphetic mend.


  • (UK, US) IPA(key): /əˈmɛnd/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɛnd


amend (third-person singular simple present amends, present participle amending, simple past and past participle amended)

  1. (transitive) To make better; improve.
    • 1594, William Shakespeare, The Rape of Lucrece,[1]
      Mud not the fountain that gave drink to thee;
      Mar not the thing that cannot be amended.
    • 1820, Walter Scott, Ivanhoe, Chapter 13,[2]
      We shall cheer her sorrows, and amend her blood, by wedding her to a Norman.
    • 1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 1, in The Celebrity:
      I was about to say that I had known the Celebrity from the time he wore kilts. But I see I will have to amend that, because he was not a celebrity then, nor, indeed, did he achieve fame until some time after I left New York for the West.
  2. (intransitive) To become better.
  3. (obsolete, transitive) To heal (someone sick); to cure (a disease etc.).
    • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, III.x:
      But Paridell complaynd, that his late fight / With Britomart, so sore did him offend, / That ryde he could not, till his hurts he did amend.
    • 1624, Democritus Junior [pseudonym; Robert Burton], The Anatomy of Melancholy: [], 2nd edition, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Printed by John Lichfield and James Short, for Henry Cripps, OCLC 54573970, partition II, section 2, member 6, subsection ii:
      he gave her a vomit, and conveyed a serpent, such as she conceived, into the basin; upon the sight of it she was amended.
  4. (obsolete, intransitive) To be healed, to be cured, to recover (from an illness).
    • c. 1605, William Shakespeare, Macbeth, Act IV, Scene 3,[3]
      Ay, sir; there are a crew of wretched souls
      That stay his cure: their malady convinces
      The great assay of art; but at his touch—
      Such sanctity hath heaven given his hand—
      They presently amend.
  5. (transitive) To make a formal alteration (in legislation, a report, etc.) by adding, deleting, or rephrasing.
    • 1876, Henry Martyn Robert, Robert’s Rules of Order, Chicago: S.C. Griggs & Co., Article III, Section 23, p. 46,[4]
      The following motions cannot be amended:
    • 1990, Doug Hoyle, Hansard, Trade Union Act, 1984, Amendment no. 2, 4 July, 1990,[5]
      It is necessary to amend the Act to preserve the spirit in which it was first passed into law []


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amend (plural amends)

  1. (usually in the plural) An act of righting a wrong; compensation.
    • 1813, John Elihu Hall, “Of Mariners”, in The American Law Journal, volume 4:
      Thus by the code of the Visigoths, it was forbidden to all strangers to take their subjects under a penalty of one hundred lashes and an amend in gold.
    • 2008, Raphael Sabatini, Chivalry, page 114:
      It was her offer of surrender as an amend that, persuading him of her shining honesty, had aroused in him something akin to worship and had made an end of that cynical spirit in which for worldly ends he had aimed at marrying her.
    • 2011, Bill Fifield, Sandy Fifield, Dig Deep in One Place: A Couple's Journey to a Spiritual Life, page 100:
      Did I owe him an amend? Probably not, but I did owe myself an amend. I did this by ceasing to resent.
    • 2013, M. T., A Sponsorship Guide for 12-Step Programs, page 120:
      The point was, I wasn't really willing to make the amend, to make it right. But the point of an amend, as I understand it now, is to make it right for the person who was wringed, to the best of our ability, and in so doing, making it right for ourselves.