To alter or change by adding, subtracting, or substituting. one can amend a statute, a contract or a written pleading filed in a law -suit. the change is usually called an amendment. the legislature will amend a statute, the parties to a contract can amend it, and a party to a lawsuit can amend his or her own pleading. a contract can be amended only by the parties participating in the contract. if the contract is written, it can be amended only in writing (although, curiously, an oral contract can be amended orally or in writing). a pleading can be amended before it is served on the other party, by stipulation or agreement in court between the parties (actually usually between their attorneys), or upon order of the court.