Definition of mend in English:



  • 1Repair (something that is broken or damaged)

    ‘workmen were mending faulty cabling’
    • ‘The crucially important thing now is that whatever fences were damaged or knocked are mended and rebuilt, and that we get on with the forthcoming challenges with a united front.’
    • ‘In total £386,000 is needed to mend damage and work will be carried out in two parts.’
    • ‘His wife, bent over his topcoat, pulled her needle in and out mending the latest damage to its right sleeve.’
    • ‘When we got in Dad had put on a clean shirt and was mending the broken banister.’
    • ‘He and Marquis did a lot together, fixing broken pipes, mending the dock, and selling the lighthouse and fishing boat.’
    • ‘Now, at aged 17 he mends, sells and upgrades computers for people in the store in Trowbridge.’
    • ‘The faulty shearing machines are repaired, the broken cobbles are mended and the new by-pass built.’
    • ‘Detached from our heads, hair can be used to mend garments, to darn holes in stockings.’
    • ‘An elderly heart attack victim cannot use his emergency alarm because BT engineers told him it could take up to a week to mend a broken phone line.’
    • ‘Eventually my clothes were clean and dried and mended and returned.’
    • ‘Chose a clear day to mend a broken fence covered in a climber, as it will be a time-consuming job to untie and untangle the plant.’
    • ‘If there are any savings, hopefully we will be able to spend it on mending more footpaths.’
    • ‘We now start on the work of repair and refurbishment of pots and equipment, boats and engines, making and mending, cleaning and painting, there's no end to it - then the insurance - anyone want a job?’
    • ‘It was not easy to find people to mend your shoes, repair your broken zipper or anything else that might be of minor importance but that is necessary for daily life.’
    • ‘Tom finished mending the broken circuitry, with me guiding him using the circuit map on a screen beside.’
    • ‘The sergeant has come instead for a blacksmith who can promptly mend the broken cuffs so that they can be put to use this afternoon in the hunt for two escaped convicts.’
    • ‘He also took a gun home from the safe, ostensibly to mend it or repair it or something.’
    • ‘She put both hands flat on her lap, then reached them up again to mend the damage she'd done to her hair.’
    • ‘The pre-sea trawler course teaches participants how to mend nets, do repairs, and other basic skills required for work on deep-sea factory-freezer trawlers.’
    • ‘Once, he sashayed into a ladies room with her to help mend a broken spaghetti strap.’
    repair, fix, put back together, piece together, patch up, restore, stitch, darn, patch, cobble, botch
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1[no object]Return to health; heal.
      ‘foot injuries can take months to mend’
      • ‘So when another scan 16 months after the fall showed the ligament had mended, he was quick to contemplate getting back in the saddle.’
      • ‘A father-of-three still in hospital almost three months after cheating death in a horrific car smash has been told it will be two years before his broken body is mended.’
      • ‘The song tells a story of recovering, of hiding from the world, mending.’
      • ‘The next day I was mending, though it took another two weeks to recover fully.’
      • ‘His two broken ribs had been mended, but were still weak and sore.’
      • ‘She will have to return to Southampton General Hospital in December for further x-rays to see how the break is mending.’
      • ‘I felt much better than I had earlier that day, my bones mending and bruises healing.’
      • ‘Her shoulder was mending, but it was a slow process.’
      • ‘A technique called pulse magnetic therapy is used to heal broken bones that won't mend under plaster, and it has also been shown to help with arthritis.’
      • ‘She hadn't even got out of bed when we arrived and so we left her to get herself mended and wandered off, in a dizzy haze towards the Putney Embankment.’
      • ‘Fractured vertebrae do heal, but they become compressed, and may mend in a wedge shape.’
      • ‘Mr Cobb was told that three-year-old Jenny had broken a joint in her right back leg, which had mended but not been set properly, and as a result she had a limp.’
      get better, get well, recover, be on the road to recovery, pull through, recuperate, convalesce, improve, be well, be cured, be all right, heal, knit, draw together
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2Improve (an unpleasant situation)
      ‘quarrels could be mended by talking’
      • ‘Almost like magic, apology has the power to repair harm, mend relationships, soothe wounds and heal broken hearts.’
      • ‘An apology not only opens up the opportunity to mend relational breakdowns, it has the potential to release amazing healing energies.’
      • ‘The project may also include attempts to mend frayed relations between management and employees.’
      • ‘That he didn't see the opportunity to mend some of the wounds he has created and allowed to fester is a failure of leadership so profound that I wonder if it may not define his presidency.’
      • ‘‘We realize that our mistakes have placed us in a complicated situation, therefore we wish to mend it,’ Endriartono said.’
      • ‘To mend the situation Dr. Morrow suggests that each partner demonstrate how important the relationship is by making changes in behavior such as putting each other first and the family second.’
      • ‘Mark visited David in an attempt to mend his rift with Stephanie before leaving town.’
      • ‘He cut taxes, took the first steps towards mending the broken pension system, and encouraged the immigration of workers with needed skills.’
      • ‘The play, she hoped, could serve as a mirror for us to see our own reflection, which eventually, might mend the broken love between us.’
      • ‘He hoped she would go back with him and give him a chance to mend the differences between them, if he could only figure them out.’
      • ‘I will take a sensitivity training class and attempt to mend my chauvinistic ways.’
      • ‘This is a kind of a ‘repair’ effort to mend conflict.’
      • ‘He did not mend his ways and the result of that failing was catastrophic.’
      • ‘Drastic decisions should essentially be avoided unless you have done everything you sincerely feel you should have in order to mend the adverse situation.’
      • ‘She was in inescapable misery and I knew what that was like; not for the same reasons, but to be in a situation that would never mend itself, no matter what you did or how hard you tried to think a way out of it.’
      • ‘The Supreme Court has also threatened that if the state government does not mend its ways these cases may be transferred to courts outside the state.’
      • ‘The hospital needs to focus instead, he said, on mending its various departments - and on improving service to emergency-room patients.’
      • ‘No law that attempts to mend the damage from the breakdown of a family will fit each family's circumstance perfectly.’
      • ‘California went through all this many years ago, and is still paying for it and trying to mend the damage its water diversion schemes have created.’
      • ‘But the real question is, ‘How do you mend a broken heart?’’
      put right, set right, set straight, make up, straighten out, sort out, put in order, rectify, remedy, right, redress, resolve, square, settle, put to rights, correct, amend, emend, retrieve, improve, make better, better, make good, ameliorate, reform
      View synonyms
  • 2Add fuel to (a fire)

    ‘he mended the fire and turned the meat on the greenwood racks’
    • ‘He put a big pot on, mended the fire, and lit his pipe.’
    • ‘When he mended the fire in the big living room, he would linger as long as he could beside the glowing coals, for although the fire burnt all day, the rest of the room remained cold.’
    make up, charge, fuel
    View synonyms


  • A repair in a material.

    ‘the mend was barely visible’
    • ‘There is a mend in the seam section on the bias and the seam running underneath the bust needs some stitch re-enforcement.’
    • ‘Subsequently, the mend in the fabric had parted and the rent now revealed a knee with well-preserved skin covering some musculature.’
    • ‘A devout cowboy lost his favourite Bible while he was mending fences out on the range.’


  • mend (one's) fences

    • Make peace with a person or group.

      ‘is it too late to mend fences with your ex-wife?’
      • ‘I mean, some of the things we talked about tonight, which is trying to get people to mend fences and work together.’
      • ‘First he has mended his fences with Miss Maisey and they are now living together as a family.’
      • ‘Surely it is time now to mend fences and initiate policies geared to the good of the game, as it faces into an era of unparalleled opportunity.’
      • ‘By working together to preserve their common ecological heritage, there's hope the countries can also mend fences over their political and cultural differences.’
      • ‘Long after I had decided I really didn't need to have her in my life, she decided she'd quite like me in hers, and made a sincere, tactful and very generous effort to mend fences.’
      • ‘The two have also agreed to mend fences and have an amicable relation-ship after nine months of bitterness.’
      • ‘Now he is back, mending fences and building a power base.’
      • ‘But I think what is very clear, according to people I talked to today, is that they have been attempting to mend fences with him.’
      • ‘It is crucial at such times of crisis to take the steps necessary to mend fences, solidify ranks and do whatever else is needed to tighten up the ship against the current storm.’
      • ‘What is your candidate going to do to try and mend fences between those fault lines, or conversely, is it more expeditious, politically, to exploit those fault lines?’
      be friends again, bury the hatchet, declare a truce, make peace, forgive and forget, shake hands, become reconciled, settle one's differences, mend fences, call it quits
      View synonyms
  • mend one's manners

    • Act more politely.

      ‘from the fact that I wasn't instantly told to mend my manners, I knew she felt guilty’
      • ‘The naughty pair have been banished to the nursery to learn a Bible verse for repentance, and Tabby to the cellar to mend her manners.’
      • ‘I told him I'd leave him if he didn't mend his manners, and he wouldn't; so I left him.’
      • ‘He went to Rome to atone but did not mend his manners.’
      • ‘If he would mend his manners the man would soon understand him and reform his own.’
      • ‘His friends in Philadelphia, Adams told his wife,’ send me kind messages to inform me that unless I mend my manners, I shall never be President.’
  • mend one's ways

    • Improve one's habits or behaviour.

      ‘she told Vincent to clear out of the house if he couldn't mend his ways’
      • ‘Those who refuse to mend their ways could be fined if their children do not show up at school.’
      • ‘The player himself realised that if he didn't mend his ways quickly, his international career might well be over.’
      • ‘I urge people not to buy goods from these companies until they mend their ways.’
      • ‘Consumers in those countries can point to good repayment records after a default to show they have mended their ways.’
      • ‘I hope they will choose to mend their ways rather than pay the fixed penalty fines that we will certainly impose.’
      • ‘He is humble, certainly, but has he mended his ways?’
      • ‘Those who failed to mend their ways and continued to disrupt their communities with noise, vandalism and harassment might face eviction.’
      • ‘The rest need to try that bit harder to keep their properties and the area around them in good order in the hope of shaming the scruffy minority into mending their ways.’
      • ‘He was released on appeal after less than a year and claimed to have mended his ways, taking a college art course.’
      • ‘He had also been convicted twice before for drink-driving, so he had ample opportunities to mend his ways.’
      reform, improve, amend
      View synonyms
  • on the mend

    • Improving in health or condition; recovering.

      ‘the economy is on the mend’
      • ‘Peel said: ‘Nicky is back home now and though she is still confined to bed, she is on the mend and Noel is at home looking after her.’’
      • ‘He is on the mend (they just took him off the respirator) but he has a ways to go before he'll be off the disabled list and able to draw again.’
      • ‘But owner Andy Robin managed to bring him round after intensive therapy sessions, including swimming, and it was believed the bear was on the mend.’
      • ‘And yes, manufacturers' fortunes are on the mend, but few besides airplane makers are celebrating.’
      • ‘But fortunately I'm on the mend now (subject to occasional queasiness).’
      • ‘Now that the economy appears to be on the mend, productivity is in the air again.’
      • ‘I sincerely hope that her health is finally on the mend.’
      • ‘Your health will be on the mend; those who are still ill will be well-looked after.’
      • ‘The ability of companies to raise prices will stoke earnings, a signal that the economy is on the mend, and stocks could climb higher.’
      • ‘Everyone was ill but the baby, although we're now on the mend.’
      recovering, convalescent, on the road to recovery, making progress, progressing, improving
      View synonyms
  • mend one's pace

    • dated Go faster; alter one's pace to match a companion.

      • ‘James, being ambitious to mend his pace, tugged hard at the rein, and one of his rider's boots escaped from the stirrup.’
      • ‘But they are a’ away to their dinner to the change-house, and if we dinna mend our pace, we'll come short at meal-time.’’
      • ‘We thus came out upon the main ridge, where a casual glance at the communal watch showed us that if we wished to get within striking distance of our summit we should have to mend our pace.’
      • ‘As soon as Constantine heard of their departure, he sent a chiding letter to Mahan, and bade him mend his pace.’
      • ‘The train was still moving slowly, although beginning to mend her pace, and the drunkard got his feet without a fall.’


Middle English: shortening of amend.