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 size or volume of an image or 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 ©2018 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.