en·​hance | \ in-ˈhan(t)s How to pronounce enhance (audio) , en- \
enhanced; enhancing

Definition of enhance

transitive verb

1 : heighten, increase especially : to increase or improve in value, quality, desirability, or attractiveness enhanced the room with crown molding
2 obsolete : raise

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Other Words from enhance

enhancement \ in-​ˈhan(t)-​smənt How to pronounce enhance (audio) , en-​ \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for enhance



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Enhance Has Latin Roots

When enhance was borrowed into English in the 13th century, it meant “to raise.” That sense, though now obsolete, provides a clue about the origins of the word. Spelled enhauncen in Middle English, the word comes to us from Anglo-French enhaucer or enhauncer ("to raise"), which can be traced back to the Vulgar Latin verb inaltiare. That word, in turn, was formed by combining the prefix in- with Latin altus, meaning "high." Although enhance initially applied only to physically making things higher, it developed an additional and less literal sense "to exalt especially in rank or spirit" and quickly acquired figurative senses for "raising" the value or attractiveness of something or someone.

Examples of enhance in a Sentence

You can enhance the flavor of the dish by using fresh herbs. The image has been digitally enhanced to show more detail. The company is looking to enhance its earnings potential.
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Recent Examples on the Web Demonstrating care, support and authenticity for your employees’ success and happiness is proven to enhance loyalty to your brand and increase staff retention and tenure. Merijn Te Booij, Forbes, 5 Oct. 2021 Norwood ally Council President Felicia Moore (now a mayoral candidate with the largest block of GOP support) lobbied state legislators to enhance criminal penalties for street racing and expand civil asset forfeiture. Essence, 4 Oct. 2021 The 1998 rules are meant to enhance public safety and thwart fraud attempts. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 28 Sep. 2021 Sustainable farming methods championed by Farm Aid can hold carbon in the soil, enhance biodiversity and help mitigate climate change. Thom Duffy, Billboard, 26 Sep. 2021 That means actively inventing solutions to enhance society and taking positive steps to protect the environment and the wellbeing of the people who depend on us. Aman Kidwai, Fortune, 21 Sep. 2021 Last year, DeSoto city officials adopted its Parks, Recreation, and Open-Space & Trails Master Plan, which identified the need to replace, enhance and expand the offerings of inclusive play within its playground system. Tyler Carter, Dallas News, 17 Sep. 2021 It is used as a preservative for food, to enhance flavor and to melt ice to assist our winter drives. Brenda Yenke, cleveland, 16 Sep. 2021 The ways these practices leverage mechanisms of our bodies and minds can enhance the joys and reduce the pains of life. David Desteno, Wired, 14 Sep. 2021

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

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for enhance

Middle English enhauncen, from Anglo-French enhaucer, enhauncer, from Vulgar Latin *inaltiare, from Latin in + altus high — more at old

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Time Traveler for enhance

Time Traveler

The first known use of enhance was in the 13th century

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Dictionary Entries Near enhance



enhanced recovery

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Last Updated

11 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Enhance.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/enhance. Accessed 17 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for enhance



English Language Learners Definition of enhance

: to increase or improve (something)


en·​hance | \ in-ˈhans How to pronounce enhance (audio) \
enhanced; enhancing

Kids Definition of enhance

: to make greater or better The products claim to enhance beauty.

More from Merriam-Webster on enhance

Nglish: Translation of enhance for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of enhance for Arabic Speakers


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