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 Research shows that spending time outdoors benefits children and adults, including improving mood, enhancing creative thinking and problem solving, promoting a conservation ethic, and improving physical fitness, the release said. Forum News Service, Twin Cities, "Free admission to state parks, recreation areas on day after Thanksgiving," 23 Nov. 2019 Why so many horses have died there remains unclear, although everything from weather and track conditions to more frequent racing schedules and use of performance enhancing drugs have been suggested. Jean Marbella, baltimoresun.com, "Horse’s death at Laurel Park renews calls for racing industry reform," 22 Nov. 2019 Syverud pledged Tuesday to take steps including clarifying the student code of conduct, enhancing security, and investing at least $1 million in curriculum changes to address diversity. CBS News, "Reports of racist manifesto at Syracuse University likely a hoax, chancellor says," 21 Nov. 2019 Each item was chosen for its ability to enhance the owner's daily rituals and inspire a joyful lifestyle. Rachel King, Fortune, "Marie Kondo Reveals the Next Big Project for Her KonMari Brand," 18 Nov. 2019 After her appearance before the Senate committee, Blasey Ford and her family were faced with threats, forcing them to move from their home and enhance their personal security. Abby Gardner, Glamour, "In a Rare Public Appearance, Christine Blasey Ford Delivered a Must-Watch Speech," 18 Nov. 2019 The award-winning development offers a wide variety of housing options and extensive outdoor amenities, with a strong emphasis on conserving and enhancing the natural environment. Houston Chronicle, "M/I Homes presents Benefit home funds to the GHBA," 16 Nov. 2019 Looking back, the port saw Royal Caribbean upgrade its Oasis-class ship this year to Harmony of the Seas as well as trade out the bigger and enhanced Mariner of the Seas from Enchantment of the Seas. Richard Tribou, orlandosentinel.com, "Port Canaveral touts record cruise revenue as it sets sights on expansion ahead of new Carnival, Disney ships," 13 Nov. 2019 At the same time, positive Dipole events feature warmer-than-average waters off the coast of Africa, which enhances atmospheric lift and leads to above average rainfall there. Andrew Freedman, Anchorage Daily News, "Unprecedented, ‘catastrophic’ fire danger in Australia as bush fires rage amid bone-dry conditions, high winds," 11 Nov. 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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Time Traveler for enhance

Time Traveler

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

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Last Updated

28 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Enhance.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/enhanced. Accessed 11 December 2019.

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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

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heavy with or as if with moisture

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