enlarge

verb

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

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
enlargeable 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 The engine is enlarged to 5.4 L and set lower down and further back in the chassis. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, 3 Feb. 2024 The back patio was enlarged and outlined by beds of white flowers to complement the stark white exterior of the house itself, and in contrast to the large expanse of grass beyond it. Emily Hedrick, Charlotte Observer, 1 Feb. 2024 Advertisement Council members hailed the pact as something that will reduce project delays and prevent labor strife for the city while simultaneously helping enlarge San Diego’s middle class. David Garrick, San Diego Union-Tribune, 31 Jan. 2024 Your tongue might be sore, and the small bumps on your tongue (papillae) might become swollen and enlarged. Amanda Gardner, Health, 21 Jan. 2024 The latest iteration of this project enlarged what could be seen as Self’s very New York version of a Wunderkammer. Vulture, 20 Jan. 2024 Friedman’s appetite for a brawl enlarged Chicago’s reputation as a new economics powerhouse, and the journals and institutions of the expanding discipline ate it up. Krithika Varagur, The New Yorker, 12 Jan. 2024 Also, the center of focus on the zoom is limited to enlarging and concentrating on the center of the photo only. Rebecca Jones, Southern Living, 10 Jan. 2024 Satan takes up more than half the page, his serpentine surrogate below further enlarging the demon’s prominence. Christopher Knight, Los Angeles Times, 12 Dec. 2023 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near enlarge

Cite this Entry

“Enlarge.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/enlarge. Accessed 22 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

enlarge

verb
en·​large in-ˈlärj How to pronounce enlarge (audio)
enlarged; enlarging
1
: to make or grow larger : increase, expand
2
: to give more details : elaborate
enlarge on a story
enlarger noun

Medical Definition

enlarge

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

transitive verb

: to make larger

intransitive verb

: to grow larger

More from Merriam-Webster on enlarge

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!