enhance

verb
en·​hance | \ in-ˈhan(t)s , 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 , en-​ \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for enhance

Synonyms

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

Antonyms

worsen

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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 Trump Administration is racing to field a new nuclear weapon designed to counter Russia and enhance nuclear deterrence. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Trump Administration Begins Production of New Nuclear Weapon," 1 Feb. 2019 The asymmetry of the front facade of the house also enhanced the interior layout, Peter notes. Maggie Burch, House Beautiful, "There's A Reason You Don't See Many Tudor-Style Homes These Days," 1 Nov. 2018 With the widest part of the tree at the top and the narrowest down below, upside-down Christmas trees almost appear to float, enhancing the wonderment of the winter holiday. Taysha Murtaugh, Country Living, "Those Upside-Down Christmas Trees Everyone's Flipping for Actually Go Way Back," 25 Sep. 2018 Many of the most effective PEDs are gone well before race day when horses are tested, but the performance-enhancing effects are still present. John Cherwa, latimes.com, "Racing! Goodbye to the winter/spring Santa Anita meeting," 25 June 2018 The workouts combine the strengthening elements of Pilates with the flexibility-enhancing benefits of yoga, and the moves are done at a nonstop, fluid pace to get your heart rate up. Alexa Tucker, SELF, "Everything You Need to Know About 10 Popular at-Home Workout Programs," 13 Jan. 2019 That could mean a company would reap fewer earnings-enhancing tax benefits than in the past. Michael Rapoport, WSJ, "Stock Selloff Could Hit Berkshire Hathaway in More Ways Than One," 5 Jan. 2019 Factor in its reported mood-enhancing and muscle-relaxing properties and it’s no wonder the practice has been anecdotally linked to the ultimate one-two punch for 2019: a better complexion and quiet mind. Mackenzie Wagoner, Vogue, "What’s the Best Way to Cleanse? A Guide to Detoxing in 2019," 1 Jan. 2019 Eyelash curlers first hit the market sometime in the 1920s or 1930s, but seem like a museum relic today with so many curl-enhancing formulas that don’t make lashes go limp. Kellie Ell, Glamour, "Social Media Is Killing Mascara," 28 Nov. 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.

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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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Last Updated

7 Feb 2019

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Time Traveler for enhance

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

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More Definitions for enhance

enhance

verb

English Language Learners Definition of enhance

: to increase or improve (something)

enhance

verb
en·​hance | \ in-ˈhans \
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

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