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



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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 Like most romance films, the movie has plenty of cute scenes that are further enhanced thanks to its incredible soundtrack. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "The "To All the Boys 2: P.S. I Still Love You" Soundtrack Is Everything You Needed In Life and More," 12 Feb. 2020 Along with turmeric, this Hanoi-style salmon recipe is rich with omega 3 fatty acids that can reduce inflammation and enhance white blood cell activity. Drake Wilson, Sunset Magazine, "The Recipes You Should Be Cooking This February," 10 Feb. 2020 The brand, which first launched in September 2019 as a direct-to-consumer label, is now partnering up with Nordstrom to bring shape-enhancing garments, lounge pieces, and sleepwear to even more Kardashian fans. Marina Liao, Marie Claire, "Kim Kardashian's SKIMS Line Officially Launches in Nordstrom," 6 Feb. 2020 The demand for dollars also pushes up the dollar’s value against other currencies, enhancing American purchasing power and offering consumers access to imports on the cheap. Joshua Zoffer, The New Republic, "To End Forever War, Keep the Dollar Globally Dominant," 3 Feb. 2020 The track takes on a whole new persona when the strings are isolated, enhanced, and slowed down to a menacing crawl. Joi Childs, Teen Vogue, ""Promising Young Woman" Is an Unapologetic Revenge Fantasy Aimed at Rape Culture," 30 Jan. 2020 For the people in your life who are always at the gym, passionate about fitness or looking to start an exercise routine, the holidays are a great time to give them gear, equipment and apparel that's sure to motivate them and enhance their lives. Noelle Ike, CNN Money, "The best fitness and health gifts for starting the new year off stronger than ever," 23 Dec. 2019 The two newest tubs have infinity edges and a waterfall wall, the sound of trickling water enhancing the relaxing atmosphere. Sarah Kuta, The Know, "7 amazing Colorado hot tubs to warm you up this winter," 10 Dec. 2019 Developing nations say now is the time rich countries to start enhancing promises by setting up a range of responses for different situations. Jeremy Hodges, Bloomberg.com, "Paradise Destinations Say It's Time to Pay Up for Climate," 8 Dec. 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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Time Traveler for enhance

Time Traveler

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

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Last Updated

21 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Enhance.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/enhance. Accessed 27 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for enhance


How to pronounce enhance (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for enhance

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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