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

transitive verb

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

Did you know?

Enhance Has Latin Roots

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

Example Sentences

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.
Recent Examples on the Web Research has suggested that friends can enhance (or hurt) success. Men's Health, 18 Jan. 2023 This means that piperine may also enhance the effects of your workout, leading to higher amounts of lean muscle mass and lower fat accumulation during bulking. Dallas News, 12 Jan. 2023 There’s strong evidence that listening to binaural beats can enhance certain brain waves, strengthening electrical activity and leading to neural benefits. Haley Weiss, Time, 6 Jan. 2023 Professionals tend to make connections that make sense and will enhance their own reputation, says Alisa Cohn, an executive coach and author. Ray A. Smith, WSJ, 4 Jan. 2023 Their shelves might be lined with marque monographs, technical manuals, histories, photo portfolios and even contemporary reviews, all of which can enhance the ownership experience in tangible and intangible ways. Robert Ross, Robb Report, 4 Jan. 2023 Multiple storm tracks tend to converge over New England, and the close proximity to the ocean can enhance the strength of the storms. Samantha J. Gross, BostonGlobe.com, 26 Dec. 2022 Instead, seek out a strong team of experts who can enhance your branding. Jordan Erskine, Forbes, 19 Dec. 2022 The varieties are not material for your everyday vinaigrette, but a little can enhance things. Florence Fabricant, New York Times, 19 Dec. 2022 See More

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.

Word History


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

First Known Use

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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


Dictionary Entries Near enhance

Cite this Entry

“Enhance.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/enhance. Accessed 27 Jan. 2023.

Kids Definition


en·​hance in-ˈhan(t)s How to pronounce enhance (audio)
enhanced; enhancing
: to increase or improve in value, desirability, or attractiveness
enhancement noun
enhancer noun

More from Merriam-Webster on enhance

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