amendment

An amendment is a change made to an original (usually a document or statement). It's meant to improve the original, but one could say the 21st Amendment (prohibition) did more to make Al Capone rich than to make Americans teetotalers.

Can you spot the word amend, meaning "to make better" or "to cure of faults and errors" hidden in amendment? If so, you'll grasp the notion that an amendment is something intended to improve whatever preceded it. It pops up most often in formal legal contexts, where it refers to a written change to a bill, law, contract, or the U.S. Constitution.

DEFINITIONS OF: amendment

1

n a statement that is added to or revises or improves a proposal or document (a bill or constitution etc.)

Examples:
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First Amendment
an amendment to the Constitution of the United States guaranteeing the right of free expression; includes freedom of assembly and freedom of the press and freedom of religion and freedom of speech
Fifth Amendment
an amendment to the Constitution of the United States that imposes restrictions on the government's prosecution of persons accused of crimes; mandates due process of law and prohibits self-incrimination and double jeopardy; requires just compensation if private property is taken for public use
Fourteenth Amendment
an amendment to the Constitution of the United States adopted in 1868; extends the guarantees of the Bill of Rights to the states as well as to the federal government
Eighteenth Amendment
an amendment to the Constitution of the United States adopted in 1920; prohibited the manufacture and sale of alcoholic beverages; repealed in 1932
Nineteenth Amendment
an amendment to the Constitution of the United States adopted in 1920; guarantees that no state can deny the right to vote on the basis of sex
Type of:
statement
a message that is stated or declared; a communication (oral or written) setting forth particulars or facts etc

n the act of amending or correcting

Type of:
correction, rectification
the act of offering an improvement to replace a mistake; setting right
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