Share this entry

Share this page

edify

Line breaks: edify
Pronunciation: /ˈɛdɪfʌɪ
 
/

Definition of edify in English:

verb (edifies, edifying, edified)

[with object] formal
Instruct or improve (someone) morally or intellectually: Rachel had edified their childhood with frequent readings from Belloc
More example sentences
  • But there are some who desire to know that they may edify others, and that is praiseworthy; and there are some who desire to know that they themselves may be edified, and that is wise.
  • Let the one in books that speak the truth edify religious men, and the other in lying fables delight impure demons.
  • Some are called to sow, others to reap some are eminently qualified to awaken sinners, others to edify saints.
Synonyms
enlighten, inform, cultivate, develop, inculcate, indoctrinate, improve, better, uplift, elevate

Origin

Middle English: from Old French edifier, from Latin aedificare 'build', from aedis 'dwelling' + facere 'make' (compare with edifice). The word originally meant 'construct a building', also 'strengthen', hence to ‘build up’ morally.

More
  • In the Middle Ages to edify was to construct a building. This reflected the word's origin, Latin aedificare, from aedis ‘house, dwelling’ and facere ‘to make’. It quickly took on the extended sense of ‘building up’ someone in moral or intellectual terms. Aedis also gave us edifice (Late Middle English), a formal word for a building.

Words that rhyme with edify

ladyfy

Definition of edify in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day emulous
Pronunciation: ˈɛmjʊləs
adjective
seeking to emulate someone or something