English

Definition of magnify verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

     

    magnify

     verb
    verb
    BrE BrE//ˈmæɡnɪfaɪ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈmæɡnɪfaɪ//
     
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they magnify
    BrE BrE//ˈmæɡnɪfaɪ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈmæɡnɪfaɪ//
     
    he / she / it magnifies
    BrE BrE//ˈmæɡnɪfaɪz//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈmæɡnɪfaɪz//
     
    past simple magnified
    BrE BrE//ˈmæɡnɪfaɪd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈmæɡnɪfaɪd//
     
    past participle magnified
    BrE BrE//ˈmæɡnɪfaɪd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈmæɡnɪfaɪd//
     
    -ing form magnifying
    BrE BrE//ˈmæɡnɪfaɪɪŋ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈmæɡnɪfaɪɪŋ//
     
     
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  1. 1magnify something (to/by something) to make something look bigger than it really is, for example by using a lens or microscope synonym enlarge bacteria magnified to 1 000 times their actual size an image magnified by a factor of 4 The picture shows the insect’s head magnified ten times.
  2. 2magnify something to make something bigger, louder or stronger The sound was magnified by the high roof. The dry summer has magnified the problem of water shortages.
  3. 3magnify something to make something seem more important or serious than it really is synonym exaggerate The daring of his exploits had been hugely magnified by constant telling.
  4. Word Origin late Middle English (in the senses ‘show honour to (God)’ and ‘make greater’): from Old French magnifier or Latin magnificare, based on Latin magnus ‘great’. The current senses date from the mid 17th cent.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: magnify