Definition of edify in English:


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transitive verbtransitive verb edifies, transitive verb edifying, transitive verb edified

[with object] formal
  • Instruct or improve (someone) morally or intellectually.

    ‘Rachel had edified their childhood with frequent readings from Belloc’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Both disciplines understood their purpose to be the evocation and presentation of intended affections, thereby to persuade and to edify the listener.’
    • ‘They are to edify the saints of God - to guard them from error, teach them right ways, encourage them to seek love and unity among themselves, enable them to grow in faith and in the knowledge of Christ.’
    • ‘Is it my chief design, in choosing my subject, and composing my sermon, to edify the souls of men?’
    • ‘Note that the early church's priorities were to worship God and to edify the brethren.’
    • ‘Second, however theoretical a work was at times, classical theologians ever retained their pastoral eye for the way doctrine edifies the saints.’
    • ‘We are much edified by her Christian character, and feel it is a privilege to have her under our roof.’
    • ‘In such a church the believer cannot be edified, for the Word of God had been set aside.’
    • ‘Here is material to edify, instruct and challenge.’
    • ‘He wants a mural that will edify, inspire, or entertain; the artist wants license to experiment and thereby ‘extend human sensitiveness through paint’.’
    • ‘Music has two purposes: 1) to worship and glorify God; 2) to edify and build up Christians.’
    • ‘Modern Catholic theologians can find in Luther's writings an authentically Christian voice whose witness to a common gospel can edify as well as irritate Catholic readers.’
    • ‘Up until World War 2, practically all evangelical churches held two preaching services every Sunday; one aimed at edifying the church; the other at converting sinners.’
    • ‘The march is completed with four appendixes aimed at edifying the non-expert on military organization, the conduct of war, weapons used in World War II, and a short bibliographic essay.’
    • ‘Besides evangelizing the lost and edifying the saved, shouldn't the church also be the conscience for the community?’
    educate, instruct, teach, school, tutor, coach, train, guide
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/ˈedəˌfī/ /ˈɛdəˌfaɪ/


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.