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 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 The actors actually burst out of the familiar boxes, which shrink, enlarge and slide around the screen in compelling fashion. Matthew J. Palm, orlandosentinel.com, "‘Christmas Carol’ variations work — to a point | Reviews," 12 Dec. 2020 The school board wants to fully renovate the Latimer Lane School, and also enlarge the Henry James School, which serves grades seven and eight. Don Stacom, courant.com, "Simsbury foresees school enrollment turnaround: New apartments are bringing more families, bucking statewide trend," 16 Dec. 2020 This condition afflicts authors with an impulse to overstate and overdescribe, to enlarge each opinion or emotion. Theodore Gioia, The New Republic, "Death to the Negative Restaurant Review," 16 Dec. 2020 Trump and his enablers will do anything to retain and enlarge their power. Robert B. Reich Tribune Content Agency, Star Tribune, "Sympathy for the Devil? Maybe — but not for Trump," 5 Oct. 2020 That is contrary to the mind-set during the past decade of economic growth, when many companies’ goal was to boost market share and enlarge their business. Nina Trentmann, WSJ, "Companies Tap Inside Talent to Steer Finances Through the Pandemic," 2 Oct. 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

28 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Enlarge.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/enlarge. Accessed 2 Mar. 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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