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

Having that shoulder to lean on will enhance your connection. Samantha Boardman, Marie Claire, "The Right Amount of Time to Spend With a Partner," 15 Oct. 2018 Other population structures may not automatically enhance natural selection, but most of them at least have the potential to amplify advantageous mutations and give evolution a helping hand. John Rennie, WIRED, "This Mutation Math Shows How Life Keeps on Evolving," 1 July 2018 Epley said that prosecutors, apparently heeding the wishes of federal agencies, are no longer willing to drop some charges that enhance the potential sentence someone can face depending on how much of the drug they were caught with. Greg Moran, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Feds taking more drug cases to state court in wake of zero tolerance mandate," 25 June 2018 Some moderate House Republicans are unhappy with the bill’s funding cuts and enhanced work requirements for SNAP (food stamps) recipients, which have alienated virtually all Democrats. Ed Kilgore, Daily Intelligencer, "GOP Likely to Sneak Cuts to Food Stamps Through the House This Week," 20 June 2018 Congress recently enhanced these protections in the 21st Century Cures Act to help fight legal demands to give out information that identifies a participant, even to law enforcement. Eric Dishman, STAT, "I handed over my genetic data to the NIH. Here’s why you should, too," 13 June 2018 Studies have suggested that hitting the sticks may improve memory, enhance cognitive function, and can help reduce pain and anxiety about medical procedures. Brianna Steinhilber /, NBC News, "18 last-minute Father's Day gifts for every type of dad (and every budget)," 12 June 2018 Changes in other factors, such as wind speed and human land use, may enhance or dampen our results. Smithsonian, "How Climate Changed-Fueled “Mega Droughts” Could Harm Human Health," 12 June 2018 They were fermented at cool temperatures and aged in steel tanks, a method that enhances freshness, clarity and aromas, producing wines that are lively, clear and, texturally, at least, relatively simple. Eric Asimov, New York Times, "From Campania’s Volcanic Soils, Whites in Multiple Colors," 31 May 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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Statistics for enhance

Last Updated

28 Nov 2018

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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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