en·​hance in-ˈhan(t)s How to pronounce enhance (audio)
enhanced; enhancing

transitive verb

: heighten, increase
especially : to increase or improve in value, quality, desirability, or attractiveness
enhanced the room with crown molding
obsolete : raise
enhancement noun

Did you know?

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 Rebirth's various side quests enhance the open-world experience. George Yang, PCMAG, 7 Feb. 2024 Inside, a fireplace enhances the ambiance of the living area. Bay Area Home Report, The Mercury News, 7 Feb. 2024 The scientists then tweaked the mutation rate of the orthogonal DNA-replicating enzyme, eventually enhancing it 1,000-fold. Diana Gitig, Ars Technica, 5 Feb. 2024 The union contract has enhanced her sense that the economy is strong. Peter S. Goodman Bridget Bennett, New York Times, 5 Feb. 2024 Family Man’s steady, shimmering touch enhances the song’s enchanting soundscape. Patricia Meschino, Rolling Stone, 4 Feb. 2024 Keeping your windows open to the outside world can enhance your well-being and exposure to natural light is crucial for healthy living. Emma Reynolds, Robb Report, 2 Feb. 2024 Technological Integration and the Role of CPAs Automation and Artificial Intelligence (AI): The integration of AI and automation in accounting processes does not just alter the methodologies but also enhances the efficiency and accuracy of financial analysis and reporting. Bryce Welker, Miami Herald, 2 Feb. 2024 As players progress, new gameplay opportunities emerge, enhanced by the folding mechanics. Jennifer Maas, Variety, 1 Feb. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'enhance.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English enhauncen, from Anglo-French enhaucer, enhauncer, from Vulgar Latin *inaltiare, from Latin in + altus high — more at old

First Known Use

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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


Dictionary Entries Near enhance

Cite this Entry

“Enhance.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/enhance. Accessed 22 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


en·​hance in-ˈhan(t)s How to pronounce enhance (audio)
enhanced; enhancing
: to increase or improve in value, desirability, or attractiveness
enhancement noun
enhancer noun

More from Merriam-Webster on enhance

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