Also found in: Legal.
1. To become (successful). Almost always used in the phrases "amount to anything" or "amount to something," which both mean the same thing. He got arrested so much as a teenager that I never thought he would amount to anything, but look at him now—he's an accomplished musician! When will this play amount to something? It has yet to get one positive review!
2. To be equated with or judged the same as something else. Copying another person's words like this amounts to plagiarism, Susie, and I have to report it to the dean.
3. To be a certain total. My tips this week only amount to $40.
amount to something
1. Lit. [for someone or something] to become worthwhile or successful. I hope Charles amounts to something some day. I doubt that this business will ever amount to anything really profitable.
2. Fig. [for something] to be the equivalent of something. Why, doing this amounts to cheating! Your comments amount to treason.
3. and amount (up) to something [for a sum of money] to increase [to a large amount]. Is that everything you want to buy? That amounts to twenty dollars. These charges amount up to a lot.
1. Add up, develop into, as in Even though she's careful with her money, her savings don't amount to much, or All parents hope that their children will amount to something. [Mid-1500s]
2. Be equivalent to, as in Twenty persons won't amount to a good turnout. [Late 1300s] Also see amount to the same thing.
1. To add up to some number or quantity: I forgot to return the DVD on time, and the late charges amounted to almost $25.
2. To be understood as something: Your behavior amounts to an insult.
3. To be as important or valuable as some level of quality: They never thought I'd amount to anything, but look at me now! The facts I have so far don't amount to much. My parents never thought I'd amount to as much as my sister.