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

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 literally meant to raise something higher. That sense, though now obsolete, provides a clue about the origins of the word. Enhance, which was spelled enhauncen in Middle English, comes to us from Anglo-French enhaucer or enhauncer ("to raise"), which can be traced back to the Latin altus ("high") by way of an assumed Vulgar Latin verb inaltiare, which would have been formed by combining the prefix in- with the Latin altus. Although enhance initially applied only to physically making things higher, it developed an additional and less literal sense of "to exalt especially in rank or spirit," and quickly acquired extended 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.
Recent Examples on the Web The clinician respondents suggested that more two-way communication would enhance satisfaction and retention. Christine Bechtel, STAT, 28 July 2022 But the reality is that AI is increasingly being applied across sectors not to replace our jobs but to enhance them. Gaurav Tewari, Forbes, 15 July 2022 Bataille says the cut will enhance movement and texture, and accentuate the eyes, cheekbones, and jawline. Parizaad Khan Sethi, Allure, 30 June 2022 Taub beautifully shows how Pellegrin continues to teach us about our world through his increasingly abstract yet insightful images—proving that disability can enhance ability. The New Yorker, 20 June 2022 The spacing and freedom in the NBA will enhance Ivey more than most, Woo believes. Marlowe Alter, Detroit Free Press, 13 June 2022 The new zone will also enhance the area’s overall transit network by providing new connections with Pace routes 714 and 722 and with Metra’s BNSF Line at the Naperville Metra Station, a news release said. Naperville Sun Staff, Chicago Tribune, 10 June 2022 Ashley Holloway, director of planning and community development, had said at that time that the grant would enhance the landscaping around the Bull house to prepare it for use in connection with the adjacent Bicentennial Park. cleveland, 6 June 2022 Supervisors asked staff to return with an evaluation of reproductive health services and plans to enhance them within 150 days. San Diego Union-Tribune, 24 May 2022 See More

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.

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

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Dictionary Entries Near enhance



enhanced recovery

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Last Updated

31 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Enhance.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/enhance. Accessed 11 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for enhance


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.

More from Merriam-Webster on enhance

Nglish: Translation of enhance for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of enhance for Arabic Speakers


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