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 Pick-me-ups enhanced with alpha hydroxy acid and moisturizing ingredients are just what these rainy days need. Meg Hemphill, The Hollywood Reporter, "5 Skincare Must-Haves From Brands Used by Meghan Markle and Angelina Jolie," 18 Jan. 2020 Quinn says Rees’ vantage point as a former QB — and a former ND QB, at that — as well as his tweaks to the scheme will significantly enhance Book’s chances to improve in 2020. Eric Hansen, Indianapolis Star, "Analysis: How ready is Notre Dame to compete with college football's elite?," 18 Jan. 2020 Grants for restoring heritage buildings or enhancing landscape beauty could also help sustain farms while boosting tourism. Erik Stokstad, Science | AAAS, "United Kingdom to embark on ‘agricultural revolution’ in break from EU farm subsidies," 17 Jan. 2020 Posing these questions in group discussions helps people understand ambiguity and enhances their observation skills, critical thinking, ability to listen to others and empathy for someone else's point of view, Higgs said. Shari Rudavsky, USA TODAY, "How an Indiana doctor found a medical mystery in Michelangelo's 'David'," 16 Jan. 2020 Packed with proprietary blends of vitamins, peptides, and amino acids, these treatments go to work to help enhance short lashes and repair any brittleness. Glamour Beauty Editors, Glamour, "Shop All the Glamour Beauty Awards Readers' Choice Makeup Nominees," 15 Jan. 2020 Reishi, Shiitake & Caramelized Brown Rice Tea Reishi, the flat, brown polypore (also known as ling-zhi) has been touted to reduce cholesterol and enhance immune systems. Ellen Fort, Sunset Magazine, "The Ultimate Mushroom Trip? A Foraging Weekend in Big Sur," 15 Jan. 2020 For tampons, this includes an evaluation of whether the product enhances growth of the bacteria that can cause toxic shock syndrome. Popular Science, "Period underwear may contain troubling chemicals—but the real problem is much bigger," 15 Jan. 2020 But if Dare Me’s mystery enhances the danger lurking within its central relationship, the figure-skating drama’s attempts at being gritty fail to deliver meaningful messaging and only muddle the plot. Shirley Li, The Atlantic, "Female Athletes Get New Representation on TV," 14 Jan. 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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Last Updated

24 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Enhance.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/enhance?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=e&file=enhanc01. Accessed 29 January 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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More from Merriam-Webster on enhance

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for enhance

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with enhance

Spanish Central: Translation of enhance

Nglish: Translation of enhance for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of enhance for Arabic Speakers

Comments on enhance

What made you want to look up enhance? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to assert without proof or before proving

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