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

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 In recent years, this impulse to reach for the unknown has been coupled with a drive to enlarge his music’s sonic palette. David Weininger, BostonGlobe.com, 11 Nov. 2021 That open questioning allowed space for multiple takes, for imperfection, for the kind of self-reflection that might, in fact, enlarge us. New York Times, 29 Sep. 2021 And there seem to be more and more Latter-day Saints, especially among millennials, speaking publicly about the need to enlarge the faith — on topics ranging from LGBTQ rights to gender equity. The Salt Lake Tribune, 17 Apr. 2021 One of the bankers, Andrew Pearse, admitted taking bribes to lower fees and enlarge loans and pleaded guilty in U.S. court in July 2019. Margot Patrick, WSJ, 19 Oct. 2021 What the assumptions allow, however, is a projection that the cost of servicing the federal government’s debt will stay low even as the 2020 and 2021 deficits greatly enlarge the amount of government debt outstanding. Milton Ezrati, Forbes, 25 June 2021 Midvale has committed to using a large portion of its rescue plan funds to upgrade and enlarge the water supply systems for our city. Alixel Cabrera, The Salt Lake Tribune, 8 Oct. 2021 But Canton declined to let Avon enlarge the shared tower, so the town had to hunt up a fresh location on the western side. Don Stacom, courant.com, 5 Oct. 2021 Trump supporters such as Larry Schuth feel as though Biden is damaging the nation by seeking to enlarge government and mismanaging the southern border. BostonGlobe.com, 1 Oct. 2021

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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Last Updated

19 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Enlarge.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/enlarge. Accessed 1 Dec. 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

More from Merriam-Webster on enlarge

Nglish: Translation of enlarge for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of enlarge for Arabic Speakers


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