v. mag·ni·fied, mag·ni·fy·ing, mag·ni·fies
a. To increase the apparent size of (an object), especially by means of a lens, instrument, or device.
b. To increase the volume of (sound): “Canyons magnified the thunder” (John Vernon).
2. To make more intense or extreme: High winds magnified the danger.
3. To cause to appear greater, more important, or more extreme than is in fact the case: Her mistakes were magnified in the tabloid press. See Synonyms at exaggerate.
4. Archaic To glorify or praise.
To increase or have the power to increase the apparent size of an image or the volume of a sound.
[Middle English magnifien, to extol, from Old French magnifier, from Latin magnificāre, from magnificus, magnificent; see MAGNIFIC.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
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