en·​light·​ened in-ˈlī-tᵊnd How to pronounce enlightened (audio)
: freed from ignorance and misinformation
an enlightened people
an enlightened time
: 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 Coffee is a commodity business, and, without enlightened leadership, bean growing is a race to the bottom. D. T. Max, The New Yorker, 8 Jan. 2024 How will audiences receive the play’s enactment and exposure of enlightened debate? Marc Tracy, New York Times, 22 Feb. 2024 Restoration of the traditional civic mission of public universities — providing a blend of liberal-arts and American civic education to future leaders — offers even left-leaning administrators and trustees a path toward meeting their enlightened self-interest. Paul O. Carrese, National Review, 13 Feb. 2024 Surely, no enlightened individual would argue her point. George Varga, San Diego Union-Tribune, 7 Feb. 2024 The rest of the country—the right-leaning suburbs, the rural places, the Archie Bunkers—were constantly prone, in the minds of America’s intellectuals and enlightened academics, to indulge in racial grievances. Barton Swaim, WSJ, 29 Dec. 2023 In an enlightened society, Kip would have been confined to a mental hospital until he could be released under the care of state mental-health professionals and monitored for medication compliance. The New Yorker, 18 Dec. 2023 What has become of our stride for a free and dignified life in an enlightened and peaceful Europe? Elsa Keslassy, Variety, 2 Nov. 2023 With accurate knowledge and a collaborative healthcare approach, patients can make enlightened decisions, harnessing the potential of chiropractic care to their advantage. Maria Williams, USA TODAY, 15 Aug. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'enlightened.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1578, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of enlightened was in 1578

Dictionary Entries Near enlightened

Cite this Entry

“Enlightened.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/enlightened. Accessed 12 Apr. 2024.

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