Definition of magnify in English:



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

    ‘the retinal image will be magnified’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The lens tube serves to magnify the illuminated slide, so that projected images from 6 to 12 feet wide can be obtained.’
    • ‘From either side, the viewer looks through Fresnel lenses that magnify the insects.’
    • ‘Isaac Newton proposed using a curved mirror, rather than a lens, to magnify the heavens, and reflecting telescopes are nowadays the norm.’
    • ‘Eventually, electron microscopy was greatly improved, with microscopes able to magnify an image 2,000,000 times.’
    • ‘These foreground clusters act as lenses that magnify the light of the protogalaxies and allow us to detect and study them.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Not giving up, Keyan put the bullet under a microscope, magnifying it 1000 times and going over the surface nanometer by nanometer.’
    • ‘Her blue eyes were magnified from the lenses of her glasses, making them appear like pools of the Pacific Ocean.’
    • ‘The endoscope is extremely small, which allows the viewing lens to magnify an image up to 200%.’
    • ‘Atomic force microscopy uses a mechanical probe to magnify rigid materials at the atomic scale to produce 3 - D images of the surface.’
    • ‘Here the image is magnified by a second lens, known as the eyepiece.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Special effects like mosaic and sepia can be applied in-camera, while a 4x digital zoom magnifies your subject.’
    • ‘On a still smaller scale, magnified several hundred times, similar patterns emerge on the surface of a pollen grain.’
    • ‘Galileo's telescope was similar to a pair of opera glasses in that it used an arrangement of glass lenses to magnify objects.’
    • ‘To see an air molecule, one must use a complex microscope that can magnify an object over a million times.’
    • ‘Most models offer a digital zoom, which lets you magnify an image after it's been snapped.’
    • ‘When this spectrum is magnified, black lines can be seen superimposed on the colours.’
    enlarge, boost, enhance, maximize, increase, augment, extend, expand, amplify, intensify, heighten, deepen, broaden, widen, dilate
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    1. 1.1 Increase or exaggerate the importance or effect of.
      ‘you had problems before you went to Vietnam, and 'Nam magnified them’
      • ‘In other words, the synergistic effects of one solution can be magnified by other solutions in the chain.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘His chin was tilted up, creating a belligerent mask-like effect, readily magnified by the frosted glare of his eyes.’
      • ‘As the minutes wore on, the enormous audience began to fairly bake with the tension spreading, reflecting, and magnifying from mind to mind.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘This can be seen as an example of synergistic epistasis, in which deleterious alleles tend to magnify each other's effects.’
      • ‘The sneer magnified on his face, then changed into mocking laughter.’
      • ‘Often induced by witnessing atrocities, the trauma's impact has been magnified by the effects of malnutrition and squalid living conditions.’
      • ‘Consequently all the city's contrasts, contradictions and ambiguities seem to be magnified by the scorching sun.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It is well known that when mixed, chemicals may magnify one another's effects.’
      • ‘Cook and Barrett play in the New York metropolitan area, which magnifies the media attention.’
      • ‘These will reflect and magnify any blast on to unprotected buildings over a wider area with potentially disastrous results for their occupants.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Were these activities strung together in an integrated fashion - building on one another - the impact and potential for success would be magnified dramatically.’
      enlarge, boost, enhance, maximize, increase, augment, extend, expand, amplify, intensify, heighten, deepen, broaden, widen, dilate
      exaggerate, overstate, overemphasize, overplay, dramatize, colour, embroider, embellish, enhance, inflate, amplify, make a mountain out of, make a mountain out of a molehill
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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 (sense 1) dates from the mid 17th century.