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 Their eyes enlarge to adapt to the gloom of the ocean floor. The Economist, "The mysterious life and times of eels," 18 Dec. 2019 When the cat is in play mode the pupils may enlarge as the cat may be ready to pounce on a toy. Iris Katz, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "Pet Wise: Learn to interpret animal body language before another pet enters your household," 13 Dec. 2019 Boozman noted language enlarging Arlington National Cemetery, expanding Military Services Adaptive Sports Programs for wounded warriors, and increasing the number of full-time Air Force Reservists. Lisa Hammersly, Arkansas Online, "Widow's tax provision in bill OK'd by House," 12 Dec. 2019 Surgery successfully enlarged the airway, saved his life and gave Rio a voice. Dean Reynolds, CBS News, "Vocal cord surgery gives toddler with a rare condition a voice," 26 Nov. 2019 Vein ablation is a procedure to close off a varicose, or enlarged, vein. Fox News, "California doctor found guilty in $12M Medicare scheme; single-use catheters repackaged," 18 Oct. 2019 Doctors have been monitoring Darnold’s spleen, which became enlarged, a common symptom of mononucleosis. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Jets totally overwhelmed by the Eagles in 31-6 loss," 6 Oct. 2019 But from its tiniest size to its most wide open, your pupil can enlarge its area by a factor of only about 16 times. Mark D. Fairchild, The Conversation, "Curious Kids: How do my eyes adjust to the dark and how long does it take?," 3 Oct. 2019 The mansion, which began life in 1702 during the Stuart dynasty, was rebuilt in 1766, redesigned and enlarged in 1798, and completed in 1865 during Queen Victoria’s reign. Janice Wald Henderson, Condé Nast Traveler, "Cruise Like a Royal: 5 Itineraries Where You Can Visit Castles and Hang Out With Nobility," 17 Sep. 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

25 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Enlarge.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/enlarged. Accessed 26 January 2020.

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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).


to express in a more acceptable way

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