en·​hance | \ in-ˈhan(t)s How to pronounce enhance (audio) , en- \
enhanced; enhancing

Essential Meaning of enhance

: to increase or improve (something) You can enhance the flavor of the dish by using fresh herbs. The image has been digitally enhanced to show more detail. See More ExamplesThe company is looking to enhance its earnings potential. drugs that enhance [=improve] performance = performance-enhancing drugsHide

Full Definition of enhance

transitive verb

1 : heighten, increase especially : to increase or improve in value, quality, desirability, or attractiveness enhanced the room with crown molding
2 obsolete : raise

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Other Words from enhance

enhancement \ in-​ˈhan(t)-​smənt How to pronounce enhance (audio) , en-​ \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for enhance



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Enhance Has Latin Roots

When enhance was borrowed into English in the 13th century, it meant “to raise.” That sense, though now obsolete, provides a clue about the origins of the word. Spelled enhauncen in Middle English, the word comes to us from Anglo-French enhaucer or enhauncer ("to raise"), which can be traced back to the Vulgar Latin verb inaltiare. That word, in turn, was formed by combining the prefix in- with Latin altus, meaning "high." Although enhance initially applied only to physically making things higher, it developed an additional and less literal sense "to exalt especially in rank or spirit" and quickly acquired figurative senses for "raising" the value or attractiveness of something or someone.

Examples of enhance in a Sentence

You can enhance the flavor of the dish by using fresh herbs. The image has been digitally enhanced to show more detail. The company is looking to enhance its earnings potential.
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Recent Examples on the Web These should enhance privacy and security, with Google promising five years of security updates. Chris Smith, BGR, 19 Oct. 2021 If anything, crypto’s incredible capacity for reinventing wheels should enhance our appreciation for the economic, legal, and social technologies of fiat money, banking, capital markets, and prudent regulation. Andrew Stuttaford, National Review, 17 Oct. 2021 An offseason in the same building should enhance their chemistry to a degree, though Sabonis spent some time overseas after playing in the Olympic qualifiers this summer and LeVert is currently injured. Tony East, Forbes, 16 Oct. 2021 The funds would be used to maintain safety features and class sizes; attract and retain teachers; enhance technology services; reduce the district's need to eliminate services and programs; and provide professional development for teachers. Renata Cló, The Arizona Republic, 14 Oct. 2021 The way her breasts flatten and spread, the scars pocking her shins, everything illuminated by the sheen of moisturizer — Thomas’s models are often glossy — all enhance her aura of confident sensuality. New York Times, 13 Oct. 2021 Sideburns can enhance the shape of your face or call attention to your best features. Los Angeles Times, 13 Oct. 2021 At the same time, providing more help for kids will enhance the skills and labor force participation of tomorrow's workers. Ronald Brownstein, CNN, 12 Oct. 2021 Wheeler and the pro-annexation committee have long said that adding areas west of Mobile’s city limits will enhance revenue, increase opportunities for grants, etc. al, 10 Oct. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'enhance.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of enhance

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for enhance

Middle English enhauncen, from Anglo-French enhaucer, enhauncer, from Vulgar Latin *inaltiare, from Latin in + altus high — more at old

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Time Traveler for enhance

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The first known use of enhance was in the 13th century

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Dictionary Entries Near enhance



enhanced recovery

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Last Updated

23 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Enhance.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/enhance. Accessed 26 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for enhance


en·​hance | \ in-ˈhans How to pronounce enhance (audio) \
enhanced; enhancing

Kids Definition of enhance

: to make greater or better The products claim to enhance beauty.

More from Merriam-Webster on enhance

Nglish: Translation of enhance for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of enhance for Arabic Speakers


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