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

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 enhancement (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 Sheldon Richardson and Olivier Vernon were the veteran presence needed on the defensive line and Greedy Williams would only further enhance the Browns defensive backfield, commanded by Denzel Ward. Hayden Grove, cleveland, "The Browns duped me last year, but it won’t happen again," 12 Sep. 2020 For adult supes, Compound V is part steroid and part party drug, a dose of which greatly enhance their abilities. Rachel Paige, refinery29.com, "What You Actually Need To Remember From The Boys Season 1," 6 Sep. 2020 These have included donating $25,000 to the NAACP to support their Centering Equity in the Sustainable Building Sector initiative, supporting clean waterways through the Rozalia Project and looking to local artists to enhance and beautify One Paseo. Laura Groch, San Diego Union-Tribune, "One Paseo donates more than $100K to school districts," 31 Aug. 2020 While the Dolphins have two starting caliber tailbacks in Jordan Howard and Matt Breida, both player’s injury history hints that Miami could use another front-line talent to supplement the tailback unit and enhance the rushing attack. Omar Kelly, sun-sentinel.com, "Kelly: No reason Dolphins shouldn’t claim recently released tailback Leonard Fournette | Commentary," 31 Aug. 2020 Among Utah’s fastest growing counties, Iron needs to tap Pine and possibly Wah Wah and Hamlin valleys’ groundwater to meet future water demands, diversify regional water supplies and enhance supply reliability. Brian Maffly, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Beaver County hopes to block neighbor’s groundwater pumping project," 29 Aug. 2020 The grant’s purpose is to expand and enhance a library’s collection. Brayden Garcia, Dallas News, "Mesquite Public Library awarded grants to improve its collection and support job seekers," 27 Aug. 2020 Honest Paws has all-natural, vegan CBD bites and oils that cat and dog owners use to help their pet cope with daily stressors and enhance joint mobility. oregonlive, "Explore 10 ‘purr-fect’ cat patios from your home: See the 8th Annual Catio Tour virtually," 21 Aug. 2020 In addition to supporting policies like SB 1206, Albright said the city is working with its partners to enhance current agricultural job training and seek funding to establish farm workforce development programs. Emilly Davis, The Arizona Republic, "Aging metro Phoenix farmers worry about finding the next generation," 17 Aug. 2020

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

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for enhance

Last Updated

16 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Enhance.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/enhance. Accessed 23 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for enhance


How to pronounce enhance (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of enhance

: to increase or improve (something)


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.

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Comments on enhance

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