enhance

verb
en·​hance | \in-ˈhan(t)s, 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, en-​ \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for enhance

Synonyms

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

Antonyms

worsen

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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

Not only can the car’s many cameras show you what is outside, but the view can be enhanced by augmented reality. Pam Baker, Ars Technica, "Where we’re going, we won’t need windows: How autonomy will change cars," 5 Dec. 2018 An eight-time All-Star, Cano served an 80-game suspension this season after a positive test for Furosemide, a diuretic that can be used to mask performance-enhancing drugs. Ben Walker, The Seattle Times, "Clad in Santa hats, Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz are introduced as New York Mets," 4 Dec. 2018 For Haddish's eyes, Wynn used a waterproof black kohl eyeliner in the waterline and along the top lashes, which were enhanced with two pairs of Ardell Double Up Wispies false eyelashes. Marci Robin, Allure, "Exclusive: These Are the Exact Makeup Products Tiffany Haddish Wore to the 2018 Emmy Awards," 18 Sep. 2018 This formula is enhanced with botanicals and castor oil. Tiffany Dodson, SELF, "7 Mistakes You’re Making When Doing a Twist Out," 13 Sep. 2018 There are athletes who have legitimate medical problems that require taking drugs with performance-enhancing side effects. Umair Irfan, Vox, "Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte broke doping rules. It happens far more than you think.," 24 July 2018 Having that shoulder to lean on will enhance your connection. Samantha Boardman, Marie Claire, "The Right Amount of Time to Spend With a Partner," 15 Oct. 2018 Other population structures may not automatically enhance natural selection, but most of them at least have the potential to amplify advantageous mutations and give evolution a helping hand. John Rennie, WIRED, "This Mutation Math Shows How Life Keeps on Evolving," 1 July 2018 Epley said that prosecutors, apparently heeding the wishes of federal agencies, are no longer willing to drop some charges that enhance the potential sentence someone can face depending on how much of the drug they were caught with. Greg Moran, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Feds taking more drug cases to state court in wake of zero tolerance mandate," 25 June 2018

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

12 Dec 2018

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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

enhance

verb

English Language Learners Definition of enhance

: to increase or improve (something)

enhance

verb
en·​hance | \in-ˈhans \
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

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