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.

Example Sentences

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 vineyards are currently being overhauled and will be used to test new growing techniques that will continue to enhance their biodiversity. Mike Desimone And Jeff Jenssen, Robb Report, 25 Nov. 2022 If a team, for example, wants a lighter floor, a manufacturer can craft out of first grade and then finish it to enhance and preserve the color. Tim Newcomb, Forbes, 10 Nov. 2022 Hart said his drive to be a good defensive player is simply to enhance his value. oregonlive, 9 Nov. 2022 The overarching goal, Boom said, is to enhance the value of Prime membership. Todd Spangler, Variety, 1 Nov. 2022 Communities can also do more to enhance and retain natural biodiversity, according to Sarah Bekessy, an interdisciplinary conservation scientist and professor of sustainability and urban planning at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. Natasha D'souza, Fortune, 17 Oct. 2022 The main goal of the Brazilian butt lift, also known as gluteal fat grafting to professionals, is to enhance your buttocks and its shape, as well as its size. Zee Krstic, Good Housekeeping, 12 Oct. 2022 The goal of this children’s organization, which includes the Midwest Youth Choir, Midwest Youth Band, and Midwest Youth Orchestra, is to enhance the arts education for children ages 5-18. Sue Ellen Ross, Chicago Tribune, 3 Sep. 2022 The Spirit of Liberty Foundation was formed to help raise funds to refurbish the deteriorating Statue of Liberty but broadened its mission in 2005 to enhance the meaning of liberty and to support America’s heroes. Diane Bellcolumnist, San Diego Union-Tribune, 15 July 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.

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 2 Dec. 2022.

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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