English edit

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Etymology edit

From Middle English enhauncen, anhaunsen, from Anglo-Norman anhauncer (enhance, raise), from Vulgar Latin *inaltiāre (raise), derived from Latin in + altus (high). The /h/ in Old French was taken from haut (high), where it resulted from Frankish influence.

Pronunciation edit

Verb edit

enhance (third-person singular simple present enhances, present participle enhancing, simple past and past participle enhanced)

  1. (obsolete) To lift, raise up.
  2. To augment or make something greater.
    • 1831, Robert Southey, Sir Thomas More: Or Colloquies on the Progress and Prospects of Society, page 214:
      They had no character to preserve, except for courage; and perhaps the reputation of ferocity enhanced the value of their services, in making them feared as well as hated by the people.
    • 2000, Mordecai Roshwald, Liberty: Its Meaning and Scope, page 155:
      A hereditary monarch relies on pomp and ceremony, which enhance the respect for the institution
  3. To improve something by adding features.
    • 1986, Maggie Righetti, Knitting in Plain English, page 192:
      A pom-pom to top off a stocking cap, a fringe to feather the edge of a shawl, tassels to define the points of an afghan, these are just a few of the delightful little goodies that enhance handknit things.
  4. (intransitive) To be raised up; to grow larger.
    A debt enhances rapidly by compound interest.
  5. (radiology) To take up contrast agent (for an organ, tissue, or lesion).

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Middle English edit

Verb edit


  1. Alternative form of enhauncen