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

In the 1930s, Robert Moses moved the boardwalk back about 300 feet to enlarge the beach. Robert Khederian, Curbed, "Boardwalk Empire: Atlantic City and Coney Island," 19 July 2018 With any luck, seeing that moment enlarged to nearly five times its regular size and plopped on the bank of the Thames will jog his memory. Andrea Park, Condé Nast Traveler, "There's a 25-Foot Jeff Goldblum Statue Next to London's Tower Bridge," 18 July 2018 Symptoms appear initially as brown spots on leaves that enlarge until the entire leaf turns dead and dry. The Editors, Good Housekeeping, "How to Grow Hardy Boxwood Hedges That Resist Blight," 25 July 2018 Should Congress enlarge the land grants for grazing, then baronial estates would soon crowd the plains, an aristocratic few owning lands sufficient for a European principality and crowding out the small farmer upon which the nation depended. Johnforristerross, Longreads, "Taming the Great American Desert," 2 July 2018 As tiny air sacs that absorb oxygen are destroyed, air gets trapped in diseased regions of the lung, gradually enlarging the organ. Marie Mccullough, Philly.com, "Temple-led study of lung-shrinking valves offers new hope for advanced emphysema," 22 May 2018 For integer workloads, branch prediction and prefetching have been made more accurate and some caches enlarged. Peter Bright, Ars Technica, "AMD outlines its future: 7nm GPUs with PCIe 4, Zen 2, Zen 3, Zen 4," 6 Nov. 2018 Our identities and sense of worth were not circumscribed, but are enlarged by serving good causes bigger than ourselves. Li Zhou, Vox, "Read John McCain’s final letter to America," 1 Sep. 2018 La Belle Équipe closed for four months, while Reibenberg renovated and enlarged the terrace. Time, "Iconic Parisian Bistros Are Under Threat. Can They Be Saved?," 11 July 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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Statistics for enlarge

Last Updated

13 Dec 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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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

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a nest or breeding place

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