verb (used with object)
- to make (something broken, worn, torn, or otherwise damaged) whole, sound, or usable by repairing: to mend old clothes; to mend a broken toy.
- to remove or correct defects or errors in.
- to set right; make better; improve: to mend matters.
verb (used without object)
- to progress toward recovery, as a sick person.
- (of broken bones) to grow back together; knit.
- to improve, as conditions or affairs.
- the act of mending; repair or improvement.
- a mended place.
- mend sail, Nautical. to refurl sails that have been badly furled.Also mend the furl.
- on the mend,
- recovering from an illness.
- improving in general, as a state of affairs: The breach between father and son is on the mend.
- (tr) to repair (something broken or unserviceable)
- to improve or undergo improvement; reform (often in the phrase mend one’s ways)
- (intr) to heal or recover
- (intr) (of conditions) to improve; become better
- (tr) Northern English to feed or stir (a fire)
- the act of repairing
- a mended area, esp on a garment
- on the mend becoming better, esp in health
c.1200, “to repair,” from a shortened form of Old French amender (see amend). Meaning “to put right, atone for, amend (one’s life), repent” is from c.1300; that of “to regain health” is from early 15c. Related: Mended; mending.
early 14c., “recompense, reparation,” from mend (v.). Meaning “act of mending; a repaired hole or rip in fabric” is from 1888. Phrase on the mend attested from 1802.
In addition to the idioms beginning with mend
- mend one’s fences
- mend one’s ways
- on the mend