v. cor·rect·ed, cor·rect·ing, cor·rects
a. To make or put right: correct a mistake; correct a misunderstanding.
b. To remove the errors or mistakes from: corrected her previous testimony.
c. To indicate or mark the errors in: correct an exam.
a. To speak to or communicate with (someone) in order to point out a mistake or error.
b. To scold or punish so as to improve or reform.
3. To remedy or counteract (a defect, for example): The new glasses corrected his blurry vision.
4. To adjust so as to meet a required standard or condition: correct the wheel alignment on a car.
1. To make corrections.
2. To make adjustments; compensate: correcting for the effects of air resistance.
1. Free from error or fault; true or accurate.
2. Conforming to standards; proper: correct behavior.
[Middle English correcten, from Latin corrigere, corrēct- : com-, intensive pref.; see COM- + regere, to rule; see reg- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
cor·recta·ble, cor·recti·ble adj.
Synonyms: correct, rectify, remedy, redress, revise, amend
These verbs mean to make right what is wrong. Correct refers to eliminating faults, errors, or defects: I corrected the spelling mistakes. The new design corrected the flaws in the earlier version.
Rectify stresses the idea of bringing something into conformity with a standard of what is right: "It is dishonest to claim that we can rectify racial injustice without immediate cost" (Mari J. Matsuda).
Remedy involves removing or counteracting something considered a cause of harm, damage, or discontent: He took courses to remedy his abysmal ignorance.
Redress refers to setting right something considered immoral or unethical and usually involves some kind of recompense: "They said he had done very little to redress the abuses that the army had committed against the civilian population" (Daniel Wilkinson).
Revise suggests change that results from careful reconsideration: The agency revised its safety recommendations in view of the new findings.
Amend implies improvement through alteration or correction: "Whenever [the people] shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or their revolutionary right to dismember or overthrow it" (Abraham Lincoln).
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. 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:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.