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 Lyons advocated for a project to enlarge the Mobile Ship Channel, allowing larger ships to traverse Mobile Bay. al, "Port Authority chief Jimmy Lyons to retire in 2020," 6 Dec. 2019 Then, once a bump begins to protrude from the thorax, the wing genes turn off and a new group of genes takes over to enlarge and sculpt the horn. Erica Tennenhouse, Science | AAAS, "Dung beetles borrowed wing genes to grow their horns," 21 Nov. 2019 With a roster of pastas, pizzas and mostly familiar entrees, La Figata doesn’t strive to enlarge your sense of what Italian cuisine can be. Rand Richards Cooper, courant.com, "Review: There’s a lot to like at La Figata in Granby... and a few disappointments," 25 Oct. 2019 Millions of women have implants, silicone sacks filled with saltwater or silicone gel that are used to enlarge the breasts for cosmetic reasons or to rebuild them after a mastectomy for breast cancer. BostonGlobe.com, "Women considering surgery to receive breast implants should be warned of the risk of serious complications, including fatigue, joint pain, and the possibility of a rare type of cancer, the Food and Drug Administration said Wednesday.," 24 Oct. 2019 Other reforms to expand capitalism’s benefits include more funding for basic science and to enlarge the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) programme to households without children, not just those with kids, at a cost of about $20bn per year. The Economist, "America needs to fix capitalism to save it," 18 Oct. 2019 From contact sheets, Cooper makes eight-by-ten study prints, which help him to decide which to enlarge. Dana Goodyear, The New Yorker, "A Photographer at the Ends of the Earth," 30 Sep. 2019 Blinder's goal is to enlarge Editor & Publisher's focus to also include television news like CNN and the crop of digital news outlets including Vice that have emerged to take on traditional media. David Z. Morris, Fortune, "Editor & Publisher Sold to News Veteran, Who Plans to Expand Magazine’s Focus," 3 Sep. 2019 Cruz, the couple’s adorable shaggy dog, gets a fair share of screen time as well, as the couple wrestles with the decision of whether the time is right to enlarge their little family. Vincent Boucher, The Hollywood Reporter, "Stylist Jason Bolden, Interior Designer Adair Curtis Talk Starring in Netflix's 'Styling Hollywood'," 30 Aug. 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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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

13 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Enlarge.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/enlargeable. Accessed 13 December 2019.

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More Definitions for enlarge


How to pronounce enlarge (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for enlarge

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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).


easily led, controlled, or managed

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