heighten

verb
height·​en | \ ˈhī-tᵊn How to pronounce heighten (audio) \
heightened; heightening\ ˈhīt-​niŋ How to pronounce heightening (audio) , ˈhī-​tᵊn-​iŋ \

Definition of heighten

transitive verb

1a : to increase the amount or degree of : augment
b : to make brighter or more intense : deepen
c : to bring out more strongly : point up
d : to make more acute : sharpen
2a : to raise high or higher : elevate
b : to raise above the ordinary or trite
3 obsolete : elate

intransitive verb

1 archaic : grow, rise
2a : to become great or greater in amount, degree, or extent
b : to become brighter or more intense

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Examples of heighten in a Sentence

The plan will only heighten tensions between the two groups. This tragedy has heightened our awareness of the need for improved safety measures. Tensions between the two groups have heightened.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The scammer beauty routine seems to be grounded by the lack of a hairbrush and a semi-dazed look in the eyes, which is heightened on female scammers by a haphazard application of black eye makeup. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "Why Is Scammer Style So Bad?," 22 Mar. 2019 Valerie Thomas, an Atlanta educator, was on heightened alert after receiving notification that she might be purged from Georgia’s voter rolls. Brittney Cooper, Marie Claire, "Stacey Abrams Is Just Getting Started," 11 Mar. 2019 The stakes in the showdown over border-wall funding heightened Wednesday after discussions at the White House between the president and congressional leaders collapsed when Mr. Trump walked out. Natalie Andrews, WSJ, "Trump Walks Out of Shutdown Talks, Calls Them ‘Total Waste of Time’," 10 Jan. 2019 This rhinos’ desperate plight is heightened by a visit to Ol Pejeta’s rhino cemetery, on a wide grassy plain, where 18 tombstones mark the graves of rhinos. Mary Holland, Condé Nast Traveler, "Can the Northern White Rhino Come Back from the Edge of Extinction?," 22 Sep. 2018 That argument was heightened by the fact that YouTube also punished Jones and Infowars last week. Kurt Wagner, Recode, "Here’s why Facebook suspended Alex Jones but not Infowars," 28 July 2018 These are places where many immigrant families still live in isolation and fear, heightened after Trump's election. Moni Basu, CNN, "Blue state, red valley: In this part of California, a new generation is more woke than ever," 1 June 2018 Safety has been a recurring topic among parents and teachers during school board meetings this academic year, but concerns heightened after the Feb. 14 shooting at a high school in Parkland, Fla., in which 17 people were killed. Priscella Vega, latimes.com, "Newport-Mesa will review school safety procedures and policies as concerns grow," 6 Apr. 2018 Interest in such legislation heightened after the Feb. 14 attack in Parkland, Fla., that left 17 dead at Marjory Stoneman Douglas School. Michael Dresser, baltimoresun.com, "Bump stocks will be banned under gun control bill passed by Maryland General Assembly," 4 Apr. 2018

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

1523, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

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Dictionary Entries near heighten

heigh

heigh-ho

height

heighten

height finder

height gauge

heighth

Statistics for heighten

Last Updated

9 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for heighten

The first known use of heighten was in 1523

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More Definitions for heighten

heighten

verb

English Language Learners Definition of heighten

: to increase the amount, degree, or extent of (something)

heighten

verb
height·​en | \ ˈhī-tᵊn How to pronounce heighten (audio) \
heightened; heightening

Kids Definition of heighten

: to make greater : increase The film heightened their interest in Alaska.

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More from Merriam-Webster on heighten

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with heighten

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for heighten

Spanish Central: Translation of heighten

Nglish: Translation of heighten for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of heighten for Arabic Speakers

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