en·​light·​en·​ing | \ in-ˈlīt-niŋ How to pronounce enlightening (audio) , -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

Other Words from enlightening

enlighteningly adverb

Examples of enlightening in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web However, the contest proved more enlightening than expected. Nicholas Mcgee, Forbes, 9 Dec. 2021 One particularly enlightening conversation was over Trudy’s place of origin. Angelique Jackson, Variety, 2 Nov. 2021 This enlightening, creative and of-the-moment volume pulled me in from the start. Washington Post, 10 Dec. 2021 Keep reading for their stories and more, all of which reflect how travel can be enlightening, comforting, surprising, and even healing—qualities that many of us are likely searching for after such a challenging couple of years. Cnt Editors, Condé Nast Traveler, 18 Nov. 2021 Of course, walking the Olympic village is an enlightening experience nowadays for Scola. BostonGlobe.com, 1 Aug. 2021 But their approaches diverge so much that what could feel like an awkward overlap — famous Black female artists with too-similar source material — instead becomes an enlightening conversation. New York Times, 13 Oct. 2021 More basically, there is no reason to believe that Zubaydah’s account, even if credible, would be enlightening. Andrew C. Mccarthy, National Review, 11 Oct. 2021 The good news is that middle age can also be a very enlightening and liberating period, says Barbara Mark, PhD, an executive coach in San Francisco. Dina Cheney, Health.com, 12 Oct. 2021

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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The first known use of enlightening was in 1574

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Last Updated

29 Dec 2021

Cite this Entry

“Enlightening.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/enlightening. Accessed 24 Jan. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on enlightening

Nglish: Translation of enlightening for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of enlightening for Arabic Speakers


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