en·large | \in-ˈlärj, 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, 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

As the show proceeds through the decades, the gallery walls lighten to teal, then robin’s egg blue, then white, supporting the sensation of an art form opening and enlarging. Laura Jacobs, WSJ, "‘Icons of Style: A Century of Fashion Photography, 1911-2011’ Review: Capturing the Trend," 10 July 2018 An 82-24 vote provided the two-thirds majority needed to enlarge the purview of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. Raf Casert, Fox News, "Watchdog gets authority to assign blame in chemical attacks," 27 June 2018 The city is spending $6 million to renovate and enlarge the stage, change the grade of the green to provide stadium-style seating and to build a pavilion with a meeting room and bathrooms. John Tuohy, Indianapolis Star, "Opening of Fishers rebuilt amphitheater pushed back by construction delays," 30 May 2018 The Lincolns spent 17 years in the only house Abe ever owned, enlarging it several times to accommodate their growing family of four boys. Katherine Rodeghier, chicagotribune.com, "Looking for Lincoln on a grown-up getaway to Springfield," 1 May 2018 The bell is only visible from a few blocks away so Ortiz took a photograph of the bell, enlarged it and put it inside a picture frame on the first floor of the church next to the rope. Karen Pearlman, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Ringing of historic Lakeside bell recalls wartime ritual," 1 May 2018 By expressing Selzer’s thoughts musically — there’s a quartet of four singers, another of four percussionists, two keyboard players and a conductor — Brown has been able to reflect on the prose, encompass it and enlarge it. Leah Garchik, San Francisco Chronicle, "Adopting lessons from the French Laundry for use at home," 28 Feb. 2018 Apax had purchased Genex from Stone Point in 2007, and enlarged it with the purchase of Cigna Inc.’s competing Intracorp division, which employed around 900 in Center City, Blue Bell, and other locations, in 2010. Joseph N. Distefano, Philly.com, "Genex ex-owner Stone Point repurchases Wayne health cost firm," 9 Feb. 2018 Pets that become infected can exhibit symptoms including fever, lethargy and enlarged lymph nodes in the head and neck, according to the county. Mike Nolan, Daily Southtown, "Rabbit found in Tinley Park tests positive for tularemia," 19 June 2018

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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Phrases Related to enlarge

enlarge on/upon

Statistics for enlarge

Last Updated

4 Oct 2018

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 \
enlarged; enlarging

Kids Definition of enlarge

: to make or grow larger : expand


en·large | \in-ˈlärj \
enlarged; enlarging

Medical Definition of enlarge 

transitive verb

: to make larger

intransitive verb

: to grow larger

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Comments on enlarge

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