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 enhance (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 Kiehl’s Clearly Corrective Brightening & Exfoliating Daily Cleanser is a gentle, exfoliating cleanser that helps to enhance skin clarity and brightness. David Syrek, chicagotribune.com, "Pro tips for keeping a guy’s skin looking great — even in a Chicago winter," 19 Feb. 2021 Rather than serving as a stand-alone tool, the results are meant to enhance the accuracy of a clinical diagnosis by distinguishing Alzheimer’s dementia from memory loss caused by other conditions. Esther Landhuis, Scientific American, "Detecting Alzheimer’s Gets Easier with a Simple Blood Test," 4 Feb. 2021 That interest only intensified when millennials came of age, prompting producers to enhance their offerings. Star Tribune, "Pantries and cooks have evolved as both become more diverse and well-rounded," 3 Feb. 2021 Ross mentioned a spot on the Salado, north of Los Patios, with a curve and retaining wall, and a similar site on the Leon near UTSA, where mirrors mounted to enhance visibility have been stolen three times. Scott Huddleston, San Antonio Express-News, "Major greenway trails linkage underway," 1 Feb. 2021 The effort is meant to enhance driver enjoyment and safety through connectivity. Phoebe Wall Howard, Detroit Free Press, "New Ford, Google deal means big tech upgrades for drivers: What to know," 1 Feb. 2021 That was part of a seven-point mobility plan designed to enhance opportunities. Rob Maaddi, ajc, "More interviews didn’t equal more minority hirings in NFL," 29 Jan. 2021 Rao said psychedelic therapy aims to enhance the effects of those substances by taking advantage of that neuroplastic state. Anissa Gardizy, BostonGlobe.com, "Mass General to conduct research on how psychedelics affect the brain," 27 Jan. 2021 Fencing would have done nothing to stop the carnage from an airplane crash into the building, but lawmakers of both parties sought to enhance Capitol complex security. Kerry Picket, Washington Examiner, "Capitol siege spurs debate over permanent fencing," 19 Jan. 2021

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

25 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Enhance.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/enhance. Accessed 8 Mar. 2021.

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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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