verb (used with object), mag·ni·fied, mag·ni·fy·ing.
- to increase the apparent size of, as a lens does.
- to make greater in actual size; enlarge: to magnify a drawing in preparing for a fresco.
- to cause to seem greater or more important; attribute too much importance to; exaggerate: to magnify one’s difficulties.
- to make more exciting; intensify; dramatize; heighten: The playwright magnified the conflict to get her point across.
- Archaic. to extol; praise: to magnify the Lord.
verb (used without object), mag·ni·fied, mag·ni·fy·ing.
- to increase or be able to increase the apparent or actual size of an object.
verb -fies, -fying or -fied
- to increase, cause to increase, or be increased in apparent size, as through the action of a lens, microscope, etc
- to exaggerate or become exaggerated in importancedon’t magnify your troubles
- (tr) rare to increase in actual size
- (tr) archaic to glorify
v.late 14c., “to speak or act for the glory or honor (of someone or something),” from Old French magnefiier “glorify, magnify,” from Latin magnificare “esteem greatly, extol, make much of,” from magnificus “great, elevated, noble” (see magnificence). Meaning “use a telescope or microscope” is first attested 1660s, said to be a unique development in English. Related: Magnified; magnifying. v.
- To increase the apparent size of, especially with a lens.