en·​large | \ in-ˈlärj How to pronounce enlarge (audio) , en-\
enlarged; enlarging

Definition of enlarge

transitive verb

1 : to make larger : extend enlarged the family fortune with new investments
2 : to give greater scope to : expand education may enlarge one's view of the world
3 : to set free enlarge a captive

intransitive verb

1 : to grow larger
2 : to speak or write at length : elaborate let me enlarge upon that point

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Other Words from enlarge

enlargeable \ in-​ˈlär-​jə-​bəl How to pronounce enlargeable (audio) , en-​ \ adjective
enlarger noun

Choose the Right Synonym for enlarge

increase, enlarge, augment, multiply mean to make or become greater. increase used intransitively implies progressive growth in size, amount, or intensity his waistline increased with age ; used transitively it may imply simple not necessarily progressive addition. increased her landholdings enlarge implies expansion or extension that makes greater in size or capacity. enlarged the kitchen augment implies addition to what is already well grown or well developed. the inheritance augmented his fortune multiply implies increase in number by natural generation or by indefinite repetition of a process. with each attempt the problems multiplied

Examples of enlarge in a Sentence

We had the photograph enlarged. as the number of people with cell phones enlarges, more transmission towers will have to be built

Recent Examples on the Web

Digital zoom just crops and enlarges the scene from a regular full size shot, making your photo look fuzzy and dull. Zooming in too far makes your decent-looking 12-megapixel still look like a grainy and embarrassing 3-megapixel disaster. Wired Staff, WIRED, "How to Take Awesome Photos of Fireworks," 2 July 2019 But critics note that the water district’s plans to rebuild Anderson Dam to improve its earthquake safety — which also would modernize the spillway and enlarge the outlet pipe, reducing flood risk — are years behind schedule. Paul Rogers, The Mercury News, "San Jose: Victims of 2017 Coyote Creek flood to receive payments," 20 June 2019 The new facility will feature improved safety and traffic flow for delivery trucks and clients, enlarged work spaces and a break area for volunteers. Kim Chatelain, nola.com, "35 years in the making, new food bank taking shape in Covington," 19 June 2019 Bowers, Buckley and Keeney schools will be renovated and enlarged to accommodate 400 students each. Jesse Leavenworth, courant.com, "Manchester voters approve $47 million school modernization project," 5 June 2019 The fire has enlarged to the north and the east, officials said. Claire Rafford, azcentral, "Woodbury Fire explodes to almost 80,000 acres overnight, forest officials said Saturday," 20 June 2019 The horizontal picture has been scanned and enlarged in an effort to make out the 147 names, but more than a dozen names are illegible, either blocked by a wooden fence in the foreground or listed on sides of the memorial that are outside the frame. San Diego Union-Tribune, "A group wants to rebuild a World War II memorial. This photo is all that’s left to go on.," 20 June 2019 About 15-20 minutes from downtown Portland is a nice city course - not long - with small greens, some elevated while others have been enlarged. oregonlive.com, "20 accessible golf courses you should play in Oregon," 14 June 2019 Pathologists said the autopsies showed the three had internal hemorrhaging, pulmonary edema and enlarged hearts. Arelis R. Hernández, Washington Post, "Dominican Republic deaths: Autopsies show similarities for all three U.S. victims," 6 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'enlarge.' 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 enlarge

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for enlarge

Middle English, from Anglo-French enlarger, enlargir, from en- + large broad, large

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Statistics for enlarge

Last Updated

12 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for enlarge

The first known use of enlarge was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for enlarge



English Language Learners Definition of enlarge

: to make (something) larger or to become larger


en·​large | \ in-ˈlärj How to pronounce enlarge (audio) \
enlarged; enlarging

Kids Definition of enlarge

: to make or grow larger : expand


en·​large | \ in-ˈlärj How to pronounce enlarge (audio) \
enlarged; enlarging

Medical Definition of enlarge

transitive verb

: to make larger

intransitive verb

: to grow larger

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More from Merriam-Webster on enlarge

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with enlarge

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for enlarge

Spanish Central: Translation of enlarge

Nglish: Translation of enlarge for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of enlarge for Arabic Speakers

Comments on enlarge

What made you want to look up enlarge? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to form ideas or theories about something

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