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


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



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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

Garcia is facing a four-game suspension for violating the NFL's performance-enhancing drugs policy. Joel A. Erickson, Indianapolis Star, "Colts have begun releasing players to get to 53-man roster," 30 Aug. 2019 His six-game NFL suspension for testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs begins on Sunday. Bob Mcmanaman, azcentral, "Arizona Cardinals' Patrick Peterson can't even have his playbook when he begins suspension," 30 Aug. 2019 Cocaine is not considered a performance-enhancing drug in the NHL and is not prohibited under the NHL's Performance Enhancing Substances Program. Allen Kim, CNN, "Capitals star Evgeny Kuznetsov banned from international play for four years after he tested positive for cocaine," 23 Aug. 2019 That was a searing experience — great performance, great play — enhanced by my being seated between my father, Herman, and Richard Christiansen, there to review for the Tribune . Rick Kogan, chicagotribune.com, "New book ‘Ensemble’ follows the trail of Chicago’s legendary theater history, with 'Grease’ and a young Steppenwolf along the way," 14 Aug. 2019 The guard is suspended for the first four games of the regular season for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing drugs. Tyler Dragon, Cincinnati.com, "Bengals notebook: Michael Jordan getting reps with starters, Ryan Finley playing No. 2 QB," 12 Aug. 2019 Weissberg and his companion, their perceptions enhanced by a mescaline diet, didn’t stick around for Sunday’s program. Charlie Brennan, The Denver Post, "50 years on, Woodstock memories still glow for those who were there," 10 Aug. 2019 Golden Tate, the New York Giants' prize free agency acquisition, has been suspended for four games for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing drugs. Fox News, "New York Giants wide receiver Golden Tate suspended 4 games for using fertility drug," 28 July 2019 And in September 2018, when anti-doping representatives came to test him for performance-enhancing drugs, Sun allegedly smashed the vial containing his blood with a hammer, the New York Times reported. Jason Duaine Hahn, PEOPLE.com, "Silver Medalist Swimmer Refuses to Stand on Podium in Protest of Winner Who Allegedly Used PEDs," 23 July 2019

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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Statistics for enhance

Last Updated

5 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for enhance

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

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More Definitions for enhance



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

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

Comments on enhance

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readily or continually undergoing change

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