- 1: to expand (as a statement) by the use of detail or illustration or by closer analysis
- 2a : to make larger or greater (as in amount, importance, or intensity) : increase
- b : to increase the strength or amount of; especially : to make louder
- c : to cause (a gene or DNA sequence) to undergo amplification
In popular use, the term usually describes an electronic amplifier, in which the input "signal" is usually a voltage or a current. In audio applications, amplifiers drive the loudspeakers used in PA systems to make the human voice louder or play recorded music. Amplifiers may be classified according to the input (source) they are designed to amplify (such as a guitar amplifier, to perform with an electric guitar), the device they are intended to drive (such as a headphone amplifier), the frequency range of the signals (Audio, IF, RF, and VHF amplifiers, for example), whether they invert the signal (inverting amplifiers and non-inverting amplifiers), or the type of device used in the amplification (valve or tube amplifiers, FET amplifiers, etc.).
A related device that emphasizes conversion of signals of one type to another (for example, a light signal in photons to a DC signal in amperes) is a transducer, a transformer, or a sensor. However, none of these amplify power.