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 The actions in this executive order are essential to our mission to swiftly contain this virus and enhance public health. Rebecca Hennes, Houston Chronicle, "Houston coronavirus updates: What you need to know for June 26," 26 June 2020 Navient agreed to enhance its internal practices and policies and pay $1.75 million to a nonprofit organization that provides student loan counseling and education. Randi Weingarten, Fortune, "Student debt is making it harder to defeat the coronavirus," 25 June 2020 From a portable speaker to boost sound to padded bike shorts to aid your aching butt, these indoor cycling accessories can support and enhance your ride. Courtney Thompson, CNN Underscored, "20 must-have accessories for anyone with a Peloton," 25 June 2020 The counterargument is that greater equity can enhance economic growth by broadening markets and talent pools. Mark Trumbull, The Christian Science Monitor, "Rising inequality in a crisis: The view from Baltimore," 24 June 2020 EmpowerEd, an organization that seeks to enhance and improve the self-advocacy of low- and moderate-income D.C. residents, has launched a petition for school leaders to consider outdoor education. Fox News, "DC schools asked to consider outdoor classrooms in wake of coronavirus following success in Denmark," 23 June 2020 This increases the heat above the Earth's surface and can enhance winds that could quickly escalate the fires. Helena Wegner, azcentral, "Bush Fire grows another 23,000 acres overnight with 7% containment," 20 June 2020 These games also could give players who are sitting on the end of the bench a chance to see more minutes and enhance their value. Terry Pluto, cleveland, "Hey Kyrie Irving, easy for you not to skip Orlando, but what about the others?," 16 June 2020 Reynolds said the agency will digitally enhance video taken at the scene and plans to release it to the public later on Saturday. NBC News, "Atlanta police chief resigns after Black man fatally shot by officer outside Wendy's," 13 June 2020

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

6 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Enhance.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/enhance. Accessed 13 Jul. 2020.

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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

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