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 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 Bridging this even deeper divide will require creative ways to enhance three key ingredients: money, access infrastructure, and execution. Bhaskar Chakravorti, Wired, 10 June 2021 The challenge opened April 1 and asked residents to share their ideas for how to enhance their favorite Akron park by working with their community to support design, construction and maintenance. Megan Becka, cleveland, 3 June 2021 The funds will also be used to enhance the appearance of the company's movie theaters. Naeem Aslam, Forbes, 1 June 2021 The American Rescue Plan Act is expected to allocate approximately $32 million to Carroll County government and details are forthcoming on what amount of that money can or will be used to enhance broadband infrastructure. Madison Bateman, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, 26 May 2021 Funds will also be used to enhance student recruiting, academic support and programs to encourage military veterans and other nontraditional students to enroll. Washington Post, 4 May 2021 People in prison under the HFOA who had one or more prior convictions used to enhance their sentence that have been reclassified as a Class D felony could apply for new sentences. Mike Cason | Mcason@al.com, al, 27 Apr. 2021 The studio used contrasts to enhance the look, combining dark eucalyptus and pale sycamore joinery, with chevron parquet flooring. Michael Verdon, Robb Report, 19 Apr. 2021 The drug has been used in cycling for decades, in forms like injections, pills, creams and gels, to enhance recovery, and it has long been banned as a performance-enhancing substance. New York Times, 12 Mar. 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

Time Traveler

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

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Last Updated

13 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Enhance.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/enhance. Accessed 18 Jun. 2021.

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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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