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 opening of Rise of the Resistance was expected to heighten demand. Scott Craven, azcentral, "Star Wars Rise of the Resistance to open first at Disney World, then Disneyland in 2020," 11 July 2019 To heighten the empowerment sensation, the superhero genre often uses horror elements. Noah Berlatsky, The Verge, "Since season 1, Jessica Jones has struggled to mix horror with superheroes," 18 June 2019 Cameras were affixed to Sherpas’ helmets to heighten the immediacy of the footage. Michael Kodas, The Denver Post, "Guest Commentary: Mount Everest is packed. Whose fault is that?," 7 June 2019 The report’s uninflected narrative—not an adjective or characterization in sight—actually serves to heighten the drama inherent in this scene. Linda Greenhouse, The New York Review of Books, "The Impeachment Question," 30 May 2019 This includes measures to heighten the security and resilience of election systems and processes, to confront Russian and other foreign maligned influence in the United States. Fox News, "Eric Trump: Hypocrisy of the media is really incredible," 3 Aug. 2018 The character may have lost some of the enigmatic qualities that have enticed modern-day actors to heighten the darker, more turbulent side of the magician-scholar’s nature. Charles Mcnulty, latimes.com, "'The Tempest' at the Old Globe: Kate Burton casts a benevolent spell as Prospera," 26 June 2018 Clemens hammered a solo home run over the right-field fence and on his way around the bases decided to heighten the budding drama within this series. Nick Moyle, Houston Chronicle, "UT defeats Tennessee Tech to force Game 3 of super regional," 10 June 2018 The speculation linking Martins to Arsenal as heightened in recent days, with reports claiming the 23-year old has cancelled his contract with Sporting following a violent incident involving the Lisbon based side's supporters. SI.com, "Journalist Claims That Arsenal Have Been Keeping Tabs on Portuguese Star for 'a Number of Years'," 16 June 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

16 Jul 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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