(Latin: defect, blemish)

amend (verb), amends; amended; amending
1. To free a person from faults; to correct, to reform, or to turn from wrong.
2. To reform oneself, abandon one's faults or evil ways.
3. In law, to correct an error that was committed in a legal process, or to rectify a legal document.
4. To repair or to make good what is broken or damaged.
5. Etymology: the change from e- to a- took place very early, being found in Old French and in Middle English.
amendable (adjective), more amendable, most amendable
A reference to being corrected, improved, or repaired: The contract was still amendable because it was still within the time limit allowed for revisions.
amendatory (adjective), more amendatory, most amendatory
Pertaining to anything that is intended to correct or to improve something.
amendment (s) (noun), amendments (pl)
1. An alteration or a change for the better, whether in process, or completed.
2. The correction of a fault.
3. In a Public Meeting: a proposed alteration in the terms of a resolution submitted to a meeting for adoption; extended to a resolution proposed instead of or in opposition to another; a countermotion.
amends (pl) (noun) (can be used with a singular or a plural verb)
Something done or given as compensation for a wrong or sometimes even a perceived wrong: "Mark asked his friend if there was any way he could make amends for ruining her rug when he spilled ink on it."
emend (verb), emends; emended; emending
1. To free something from faults; to correct what is faulty, to rectify.
2. To remove errors from the text of a book or document by making corrections or alterations to improve the text.

Emend comes from Latin e-, "out" + mendum, "fault". This Latin mendum, "fault", is also the source of amend and mend.

It is well to remember that although amend and emend overlap in meaning, there are also distinct differences.

  • To amend is to change something in order to improve it: "He amended the speech by making some additions and deletions."
  • To emend is to change something in order to correct it: "He emended the report by substituting the correct figures for the erroneous ones."
  • Because emend seems to be losing favor and amend is taking over both meanings, the terms "to correct, to rectify", etc. were added to the definition in amend above, but precise writers would still consider these as proper synonyms only for emend, not for amend.
emendation (s) (noun), emendations (pl)
The improvement of something by alteration and correction; especially of literary or artistic products, methods of procedure, scientific systems, etc.; a particular instance of such improvement.
mend (verb), mends; mended; mending
1. To free a person from sin or fault; to improve morally; to reform; occasionally, to cure of (a fault).
2. To remove the defects of a thing; to correct what is faulty; to improve by corrections or alterations.