en·​light·​en·​ing | \ in-ˈlīt-niŋ, -ˈlī-tᵊn-iŋ, en-\

Definition of enlightening

: providing or tending to provide knowledge, understanding, or insight a very enlightening discussion … he takes readers on enlightening excursions through the nature of Judaism, Hegelian philosophy, wherever his curiosity heads.— George Johnson

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Other Words from enlightening

enlighteningly adverb

Examples of enlightening in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

But universality is a thin line that separates the obvious from the enlightening; things that everyone feels risk triteness when turned into art. Robert Lloyd, latimes.com, "HBO drama ponders the 'Here and Now'," 9 Feb. 2018 The focus on menswear was echoed by Metrick, who said its broad spectrum is enlightening and inspiring. Edward Barsamian, Vogue, "Saks Fifth Avenue and Vanity Fair Celebrate the 2018 Best Dressed List in Style at Manhatta," 13 Sep. 2018 O’Rourke and Obama could have an enlightening conversation on what their political party needs to do to galvanize voters moving forward. Lucy Diavolo, Teen Vogue, "6 Things Barack Obama and Beto O'Rourke Could Discuss Other Than the 2020 Election," 6 Dec. 2018 Some slow-close seats even include a nightlight, which may be my most enlightening child-friendly toilet tip for today. Ed Del Grande, The Seattle Times, "Slow-closing toilet seats are ideal for kids," 13 Aug. 2018 Feminasty is cathartic, hilarious, enlightening, and rage-provoking. Erin Gibson, Glamour, "I Tossed $2,500 Worth of Makeup and Started Over With All Women-Owned Brands," 25 Sep. 2018 Easy: Follow these simple tips for planning an enlightening vacation in Philly that, promise, won’t result in family mutiny. Juliet Izon, Good Housekeeping, "Why Your Kids Will Love a Trip to Philly as Much as the Magic Kingdom," 30 July 2018 His discussion of the racial policies of these schools is especially enlightening. Naomi Schaefer Riley, WSJ, "‘Fundamentalist U’ Review: Believers in Higher Ed," 6 May 2018 Being older on the road is equal parts disconcerting, humbling and enlightening. New York Times, "The Frugal Five," 27 June 2018

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

1574, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

15 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for enlightening

The first known use of enlightening was in 1574

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