enhance

verb
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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from enhance

enhancement \ in-​ˈhan(t)-​smənt How to pronounce enhancement (audio) , en-​ \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for enhance

Synonyms

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

Antonyms

worsen

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

Multicultural and immigrant-friendly Toronto has been a film and television hub for decades, a position enhanced by the influential Toronto International Film Festival. Erik Heinrich, latimes.com, "Toronto has been a film and TV hub for decades. Now Guillermo del Toro may give the Canadian city an edge," 12 July 2018 Artist Mikel Janin provided stellar artwork, enhanced by frequent pinup illustrations that appeared every two pages by various artists at DC, including co-publisher Jim Lee, Jason Fabok, Mitch Gerads and Frank Miller. David Betancourt, chicagotribune.com, "Fans were mad that Batman and Catwoman's wedding day surprise was ruined. But the story is still great.," 10 July 2018 The performances are enhanced by pre-show lectures, concerts and picnicking. Christopher Arnott, courant.com, "Outdoor Shakespeare This Summer: 'Pericles,' 'Love's Labour's Lost,' 'Hamlet' And...," 9 July 2018 This super-tender melange of ground beef and wild mushroom burst with deep, rich flavor, enhanced by a portobello Madeira wine sauce. Tim Smith, baltimoresun.com, "Stanford Kitchen a welcome addition to Owings Mills dining scene," 5 July 2018 The program is enhanced by UCF placing counselors on the Valencia campus to advise students who are part of the program. Lloyd Dunkelberger, Sun-Sentinel.com, "State looks to boost college-to-university pipeline," 3 July 2018 Nearby in the Seaport, Tuscan Kitchen (64 Seaport Blvd. at Fan Pier Boulevard) launches brunch service this weekend with ricotta and buttermilk pancakes, frittatas, eggs Benedict, and pizzas, enhanced by a DIY Bloody Mary and mimosa bar. Kara Baskin, BostonGlobe.com, "Tables: Some big closings in Southie, and welcoming The Wellington," 7 June 2018 The foodie scene has been enhanced by such eateries as The Waterfront Grill, which emphasizes local and independent vendors with an emphasis on sustainability, and Beach Bistro, consistently awarded the highest Zagat ratings in the region. Clifford Pugh, San Antonio Express-News, "Anna Maria Island a time capsule of simpler times in Florida," 5 June 2018 The small groove between them allows for something of an entrance for the sun or moon—a view enhanced by the right kind of window. Samantha Weiss Hills, Curbed, "A micro cabin in Vermont offers an artist refuge," 15 Oct. 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about enhance

Listen to Our Podcast about enhance

Statistics for enhance

Last Updated

16 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for enhance

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for enhance

enhance

verb

English Language Learners Definition of enhance

: to increase or improve (something)

enhance

verb
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.

Keep scrolling for more

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

What made you want to look up enhance? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to speak slightingly about or to degrade

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Vocabulary Quiz Returns!

  • stylized drawing of woman pole vaulting across gap to get trophy
  • Which is a synonym of fuliginous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!