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 enlarge (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 Third, Chinese outbound investment does help to enlarge the supply pie for a key raw materials essential to ongoing economic growth and for new energy systems, including those within China aimed at reducing pollution. Baker Institute, Forbes, "Chinese Firms Position For An Energy Transition Copper Supercycle," 5 Apr. 2021 The catheters are used to enlarge an existing atrial septal defect as a treatment option for patients with cyanotic congenital heart defects. Paul Walsh, Star Tribune, "Medtronic catheter is recalled after one death, two injuries," 4 Nov. 2020 Blindly fighting the elements of change will vastly enlarge the population that gets hurt. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Opinion: Your Say on proposal to eliminate single-family home zoning," 2 Apr. 2021 If more room is needed for tree care, enlarge the area of clear soil as needed. Tom Maccubbin, orlandosentinel.com, "Keep fruit tree trunks clear of vegetation and mulch," 20 Mar. 2021 The new agency’s purpose is to match the expertise and resources the sponsors contend other states invest to enlarge their shares of the river’s flow to the detriment of Utah. Brian Maffly, The Salt Lake Tribune, "What about us? Ute Tribe asks as Utah moves to protect its share of the Colorado River.," 5 Mar. 2021 The studio, at 45th Street, will be operated by Broadway Stages, which bought it for $8.4 million in 2015 and plans to enlarge the property and add higher ceilings, city records show. New York Times, "Lights, Camera, Construction!," 4 Dec. 2020 Against play-action passes and RPOs (run-pass options), the voids between zones tend to enlarge, which can lead to easy pitch-and-catch completions for the offense. John Owning, Dallas News, "Film room: Strengths and weaknesses of Cowboys DC Dan Quinn’s base defense," 20 Jan. 2021 Gosar’s combative spirit helped enlarge his profile during the Trump era. Nicholas Rowan, Washington Examiner, "House tea party stars a decade on: Where are they now?," 26 Dec. 2020

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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Time Traveler for enlarge

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for enlarge

Last Updated

29 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Enlarge.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/enlarge. Accessed 6 May. 2021.

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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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Comments on enlarge

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