en·​light·​ened | \ in-ˈlī-tᵊnd How to pronounce enlightened (audio) , en- \

Definition of enlightened

1 : freed from ignorance and misinformation an enlightened people an enlightened time
2 : based on full comprehension of the problems involved issued an enlightened ruling

Examples of enlightened in a Sentence

an enlightened approach to prison reform
Recent Examples on the Web Fortunately, regulators and policymakers in the U.S., Canada and a few other countries have taken a more enlightened view of Bitcoin. Alex Tapscott, Fortune, "Bitcoin offers freedom from political repression—and that’s a key to its future," 18 Feb. 2021 Only the most enlightened or hardened among us can survive prolonged periods without companionship. Ligaya Mishan, New York Times, "How Can I Avoid Feeling Lonely When All My Friends Are Coupled Up?," 21 Sep. 2020 Sporting a stylish pixie cut and backlit by floor-to-ceiling windows, Shamonski launches into a narrative of then versus now, a reproductive dark ages of secrecy that’s given way to a more enlightened present. Caitlin Harrington, Wired, "There's No Such Thing as Family Secrets in the Age of 23andMe," 30 July 2020 Despite spending most of his life surrounded by teammates of all colors and backgrounds, and playing the bulk of his career for Sean Payton, probably the most enlightened white coach there is in the NFL, Brees still doesn’t get it. Nancy Armour, USA TODAY, "Opinion: As protests rage over racial inequality, Drew Brees' tone-deaf comments show Saints QB is willfully ignorant," 3 June 2020 This transit gives us the opportunity to become more enlightened versions of ourselves. Venus Australis, refinery29.com, "Your May Horoscope," 1 May 2020 Even the more enlightened version of shareholder primacy, which allows for responsible corporate citizenship and longer-term approaches to value creation, still sees good behavior only as a means toward shareholder ends. Dov Seidman, Fortune, "Why the coronavirus crisis makes moral leadership more important than ever," 24 Apr. 2020 There is a special irony: Germany and South Korea, both products of enlightened postwar US leadership, have become potent examples of best practices in the coronavirus crisis. Katrin Bennhold, BostonGlobe.com, "As crisis rages, Europeans react to US role with sadness, disbelief," 23 Apr. 2020 But Hasson diverged, fatally, from his family’s enlightened values. Sarah Abrevaya Stein, The Conversation, "Vital Hasson, the Jew who worked for the Nazis, hunted down refugees and tore apart families in WWII Greece," 21 Jan. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'enlightened.' 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 enlightened

1578, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for enlightened

Time Traveler

The first known use of enlightened was in 1578

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Statistics for enlightened

Last Updated

3 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Enlightened.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/enlightened. Accessed 3 Mar. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of enlightened

: having or showing a good understanding of how people should be treated : not ignorant or narrow in thinking

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