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


ameliorate, amend, better, enrich, help, improve, meliorate, perfect, refine, upgrade



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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

The show has been enhanced with fresh animation and other changes, but many elements remain in place, including those multi-functional floating lotus blossoms and projections onto enormous water screens. Dewayne Bevil, orlandosentinel.com, "Disney’s Animal Kingdom: Getting into the swim of ‘Rivers of Light: We Are One'," 3 July 2019 On Monday, federal authorities released the short clip, enhanced with the help of new technology, in an effort to solicit tips on the 45th anniversary of the girl's disappearance. CBS News, "Chilling ransom call released 45 years after New Jersey girl's disappearance," 25 June 2019 Crispy chickpea crunched up the house chopped salad, and the delicious dressing resembled a mellower blue cheese - rich, tangy, and enhanced with pecorino and garlic. Marc Bona, cleveland.com, "Good Company finds niche with well-made, affordable sandwiches," 20 June 2019 Middlesex Savings Bank purchased the bond, which MassDevelopment also enhanced with a mortgage insurance guarantee. John Laidler, BostonGlobe.com, "Framingham anti-poverty agency gets money for new facility," 18 June 2019 And in keeping with the retro-leaning reference, her preternaturally luminous complexion was enhanced with a subtle flush on the cheeks and slick of petal pink on the mouth. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "Jessica Alba Channels Catherine Deneuve With an Iconic French Beauty Look," 17 May 2019 Surveillance has been enhanced with such things as electronic sensors and helicopters, and those trying to cross the border must show a passport or certain other documents, none of which were required before 9/11. Wilson Ring, The Seattle Times, "Former police chief recalls foiling terrorism case at border," 4 Feb. 2019 The advanced stealth capabilities of the F-22's design would be enhanced with the F-35's networking capabilities, modernized mission system, improved stealth coatings, and other improvements, according to the Defense One report. Sean Gallagher, Ars Technica, "Hybrid theory: Lockheed Martin, Boeing pitch upgraded F-22, F-15," 26 Nov. 2018 The technology that was initially envisioned as a tool to enhance industrial productivity is now a near necessity for American homes and transportation. Haleema Shah, Smithsonian, "The Unexpected History of the Air Conditioner," 24 June 2019

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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Last Updated

11 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for enhance

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

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More Definitions for enhance



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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with enhance

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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).


an act or instance of editing or removing

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