Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To improve by critical editing: emend a faulty text.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To correct and revise (a text).

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To purge of faults; to make better; to correct; esp., to make corrections in (a literary work); to alter for the better by textual criticism, generally verbal.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To remove faults or blemishes from; free from fault; alter for the better; correct; amend.
  • To amend by criticism of the text; improve the reading of: as, this edition of Virgil is greatly emended.
  • Synonyms Improve, Better, etc. See amend.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. make improvements or corrections to

Etymologies

Middle English emenden, from Latin ēmendāre : ē-, ex-, ex- + mendum, defect, fault.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • When pressed by the reporter whether he cared about the opinion of the American people, instead of bristling at the suggestion, Dick Cheney tried to emend his response by saying "I think you can not be blown off course by the fluctuations in the public opinion polls."

    Dorian de Wind: Dick Cheney's Last Word

  • He wrote to Allen Ginsberg on March 24, 1959, American College Dictionary sent me their big square definition of ‘beat generation’ and wanted to know if I would revise, emend or make a new one.

    The Typewriter Is Holy

  • (That could also help you emend - that is right, not amend - your snorky BHO comments)

    Hillary: Wright "Would Not Have Been My Pastor"

  • My experiences from the past few weeks in this city, whose quiet yet energetic design once lured monks and monkeys alike to its riverbanks, has forced me to emend the saying: If not me, then surely me.

    First Lives

  • Our choice is to emend the texts so that we can sing them wholeheartedly, and Richard Tarrant and Larry Rosenwald devised good solutions for Nova vobis gaudia and Letabundus.

    Archive 2009-02-01

  • If you've been in such relationships yourself, how would you expand or emend my taxonomy?

    Archive 2009-02-01

  • Sometimes, I point out such examples to my students in religious studies, in order to show them the difference between scholarship and dogmatics: we scholars like to emend our conclusions in light of new evidence or fresh arguments.

    Ferule & Fescue

  • In 1512 Julius, battered in conflict and ailing in health, called a council to meet at the Lateran to emend a Church now universally agreed to be corrupt.

    Archive 2009-03-01

  • And we will put in useful things like paragraph breaks and dialogue markers, emend "&" to "and," and correct the assorted typos, but otherwise not edit or alter the story.

    Archive 2009-07-01

  • Nick Kaplan: emend from your last post "despite over-reacting at times .." to "despite, in the face of extreme provocation, having to restrain itself in the face of squeamish reaction of its so-called allies ..."

    On Thursday, the Legg report will be published along with...

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Comments

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  • Amend just means to change (for better, for worse). Emend means to put right.

    June 17, 2008

  • I have scissors and a red pen, and I'm not afraid to use them! ;-)

    July 12, 2007

  • Probably because it reminds you of cutting tags off pillows!

    July 12, 2007

  • Dicing--I like that description!

    July 12, 2007

  • Sounds about right to me. On at least a connotative level, I think amend means to add to something, with the goal of improving it; but emend means to change it more radically, dicing it to bits if necessary, in order to fix it completely.

    July 12, 2007

  • U, that's a good course of action. Take it from me. ;-)

    July 12, 2007

  • Yes, to amend something is to alter it (usually for the better); to emend is to correct, especially printed text. Amend derives from the old French "to free from fault," and I think emend derives from both Latin and that same French root.

    Seanahan, I think the original meaning of amenable was "to bring before" or "to lead," interpreted as answerable to laws or jurisdictions. Somewhere along the way, the meaning shifted a bit to become "disposed to answer or respond."

    July 12, 2007

  • I need to find a significant other who can cook, or I'm a lost cause. My diet is unhealthy, my budget worse!

    July 12, 2007

  • And U, u had best amend your constitution while there is time! It's for your own good, you know. ;-)

    July 12, 2007

  • I can't say in terms of etymology. However, in practice amend seems to be the more general term, meaning to improve to to rectify something. I think emend is usually more specific to editing text.

    July 12, 2007

  • Is there some connotational difference between emend and amend? Likewise, is there some difference between emendable and amenable?

    July 12, 2007

  • Libertarian, Presbyterian...what do I care? I cut TAGS off stuff, pal!

    July 12, 2007

  • I'm a libertarian, you think I care about you? ;-)

    July 12, 2007

  • And you're calling Homeland Security on me? Hmph.

    July 12, 2007

  • Eh, I'm pretty weak in that department. I should take more vitamins, or eat fewer frozen dinners. Maybe both. I'm downright unconstitutional.

    July 12, 2007

  • Whose constitution? How's yer constitution?

    July 12, 2007

  • And speaking of emending, I have been trying to think of the technical word that describes this howler:

    I was editing a piece of writing for someone near and dear to me, and had a hard time convincing him that "Installing (you name the software) in a nutshell." was not a good header. The defense was reference to the series of "In a Nutshell" books.

    It is a pretty funny image, I must say. Every time I think of it I laugh-groan.

    July 12, 2007

  • Jeez, all this time and THAT'S what we should have been doing to the Constitution! Is it too late to change?

    July 12, 2007

  • I try to emend my ways, but. . .

    July 12, 2007

  • This always comes in handy at my job. :-)

    July 12, 2007