en·​hance in-ˈhan(t)s How to pronounce enhance (audio)
enhanced; enhancing

transitive verb

: heighten, increase
especially : to increase or improve in value, quality, desirability, or attractiveness
enhanced the room with crown molding
obsolete : raise
enhancement noun

Did you know?

Enhance Has Latin Roots

When enhance was borrowed into English in the 13th century, it literally meant to raise something higher. That sense, though now obsolete, provides a clue about the origins of the word. Enhance, which was spelled enhauncen in Middle English, comes to us from Anglo-French enhaucer or enhauncer ("to raise"), which can be traced back to the Latin altus ("high") by way of an assumed Vulgar Latin verb inaltiare, which would have been formed by combining the prefix in- with the Latin altus. Although enhance initially applied only to physically making things higher, it developed an additional and less literal sense of "to exalt especially in rank or spirit," and quickly acquired extended 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.
Recent Examples on the Web Cinemas can enhance the overall experience by investing in state-of-the-art technology, comfortable seating and immersive sound systems. Naman Ramachandran, Variety, 22 Nov. 2023 Cognitive Impact: Can alter cognitive states, reducing stress and anxiety, enhancing focus and alertness. 5. Gen Cleary, Rolling Stone, 22 Nov. 2023 From durable luggage to portable charging devices, the key is to enhance their travel experience while minimizing the hassle of carrying cumbersome items. Austa Somvichian-Clausen, Travel + Leisure, 20 Nov. 2023 This kit includes holographic stickers that can be used to enhance a makeup look and add a pop of color. Casey Clark, Parents, 17 Nov. 2023 Investigators, however, continued to pursue leads into Charlie Adelson, and got a break when a 2016 secret recording between him and Magbanua was enhanced in 2022 by the FBI and produced more clear dialogue. Alison Lynn, ABC News, 10 Nov. 2023 His thoughtful engagement with our teams already enhances the business each working day and his passion for principled journalism is obvious to all who worked with him. Alex Weprin, The Hollywood Reporter, 9 Nov. 2023 Original story reprinted with permission from Quanta Magazine, an editorially independent publication of the Simons Foundation whose mission is to enhance public understanding of science by covering research developments and trends in mathematics and the physical and life sciences. WIRED, 5 Nov. 2023 His love for the position was enhanced by watching Chase, older by three years, thrive as the first Corona del Mar quarterback widely recruited by major college teams. Ben Bolch, Los Angeles Times, 3 Nov. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'enhance.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English enhauncen, from Anglo-French enhaucer, enhauncer, from Vulgar Latin *inaltiare, from Latin in + altus high — more at old

First Known Use

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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


Dictionary Entries Near enhance

Cite this Entry

“Enhance.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/enhance. Accessed 29 Nov. 2023.

Kids Definition


en·​hance in-ˈhan(t)s How to pronounce enhance (audio)
enhanced; enhancing
: to increase or improve in value, desirability, or attractiveness
enhancement noun
enhancer noun

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