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



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

  1. (transitive) To make better.
    • 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.
    • 1621, Democritus Junior [pseudonym; Robert Burton], The Anatomy of Melancholy, Oxford: Printed by Iohn Lichfield and Iames Short, for Henry Cripps, OCLC 216894069; The Anatomy of Melancholy: [], 2nd corrected and augmented edition, Oxford: Printed by John Lichfield and James Short, for Henry Cripps, 1624, 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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