Definition of magnify in English:



  • 1Make (something) appear larger than it is, especially with a lens or microscope.

    ‘the retinal image will be magnified’
    • ‘These foreground clusters act as lenses that magnify the light of the protogalaxies and allow us to detect and study them.’
    • ‘Her blue eyes were magnified from the lenses of her glasses, making them appear like pools of the Pacific Ocean.’
    • ‘These moons and rings had existed for millennia, but they were beyond human perception until the invention of a device that could magnify the faint images.’
    • ‘Not giving up, Keyan put the bullet under a microscope, magnifying it 1000 times and going over the surface nanometer by nanometer.’
    • ‘Viruses are extremely small things, so even normal microscopes are not powerful enough to allow us to visualise a virus, so one has to use an electron microscope which magnifies objects by 40,000 times or so.’
    • ‘Special effects like mosaic and sepia can be applied in-camera, while a 4x digital zoom magnifies your subject.’
    • ‘Way out in the corners of the galaxy, there are objects so massive that they curve light into gargantuan gravitational lenses, distorting and magnifying objects behind them.’
    • ‘Eventually, electron microscopy was greatly improved, with microscopes able to magnify an image 2,000,000 times.’
    • ‘Galileo's telescope was similar to a pair of opera glasses in that it used an arrangement of glass lenses to magnify objects.’
    • ‘Here the image is magnified by a second lens, known as the eyepiece.’
    • ‘From either side, the viewer looks through Fresnel lenses that magnify the insects.’
    • ‘The endoscope is extremely small, which allows the viewing lens to magnify an image up to 200%.’
    • ‘On a still smaller scale, magnified several hundred times, similar patterns emerge on the surface of a pollen grain.’
    • ‘Isaac Newton proposed using a curved mirror, rather than a lens, to magnify the heavens, and reflecting telescopes are nowadays the norm.’
    • ‘Most models offer a digital zoom, which lets you magnify an image after it's been snapped.’
    • ‘Atomic force microscopy uses a mechanical probe to magnify rigid materials at the atomic scale to produce 3 - D images of the surface.’
    • ‘This is not to say that digital imaging cannot be used for high-power photography, but rather simply that one cannot obtain those high-power photographs by magnifying low-power images.’
    • ‘The lens tube serves to magnify the illuminated slide, so that projected images from 6 to 12 feet wide can be obtained.’
    • ‘When this spectrum is magnified, black lines can be seen superimposed on the colours.’
    • ‘To see an air molecule, one must use a complex microscope that can magnify an object over a million times.’
    enlarge, boost, enhance, maximize, increase, augment, extend, expand, amplify, intensify, heighten, deepen, broaden, widen, dilate
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    1. 1.1Increase or exaggerate the importance or effect of.
      ‘you had problems before you went to Vietnam, and 'Nam magnified them’
      • ‘His chin was tilted up, creating a belligerent mask-like effect, readily magnified by the frosted glare of his eyes.’
      • ‘It is well known that when mixed, chemicals may magnify one another's effects.’
      • ‘In other words, the synergistic effects of one solution can be magnified by other solutions in the chain.’
      • ‘Often induced by witnessing atrocities, the trauma's impact has been magnified by the effects of malnutrition and squalid living conditions.’
      • ‘Painted a vivid yellow that is echoed in the striped bedspread, the wall contrasts with adjacent white surfaces to magnify the room's sunlit quality.’
      • ‘Trapped for weeks on end with the same group of people, under the same roof, the constant casual cruelties of adolescence were both magnified and intensified - causing me much quiet suffering.’
      • ‘Consequently all the city's contrasts, contradictions and ambiguities seem to be magnified by the scorching sun.’
      • ‘The beating in his chest was magnifying and he felt he was about to burst and scream out his anger as he turned the corner.’
      • ‘Attachment behaviors are likely to be heightened, and transition stress will be magnified for those who lack a safe attachment to their family members.’
      • ‘The sneer magnified on his face, then changed into mocking laughter.’
      • ‘These will reflect and magnify any blast on to unprotected buildings over a wider area with potentially disastrous results for their occupants.’
      • ‘Those small moments of relative lushness are magnified, become powerful and touching, in their drab context.’
      • ‘When private companies enter the field of manned spaceflight, those inherent risks could be magnified.’
      • ‘Were these activities strung together in an integrated fashion - building on one another - the impact and potential for success would be magnified dramatically.’
      • ‘Indeed, it is often the case that an area can find itself subjected to a number of tremors, where the effects will overlap and magnify each other.’
      • ‘Yet if vulnerabilities and safeguards aren't linked, and vested interests are allowed to get in the way of objectivity, risk will only be magnified.’
      • ‘First, tadpole foraging and growth rate may increase with increased size, and hence any negative effect of the predator on growth rate will be magnified at high tadpole growth rates.’
      • ‘This can be seen as an example of synergistic epistasis, in which deleterious alleles tend to magnify each other's effects.’
      • ‘As the minutes wore on, the enormous audience began to fairly bake with the tension spreading, reflecting, and magnifying from mind to mind.’
      • ‘Cook and Barrett play in the New York metropolitan area, which magnifies the media attention.’
      enlarge, boost, enhance, maximize, increase, augment, extend, expand, amplify, intensify, heighten, deepen, broaden, widen, dilate
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  • 2archaic Praise highly; glorify.

    ‘praise the Lord and magnify Him’
    • ‘Time shall embalm and magnify her name.’
    • ‘The words go like this: “I’m free to worship, I’m free to praise, I’m free to lift up holy hands and magnify His name.”’
    praise, bless, worship, venerate, adore, extol
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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. magnify dates from the mid 17th century.