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[en-hans, -hahns] /ɛnˈhæns, -ˈhɑns/
verb (used with object), enhanced, enhancing.
to raise to a higher degree; intensify; magnify:
The candlelight enhanced her beauty.
to raise the value or price of:
Rarity enhances the worth of old coins.
Origin of enhance
1325-75; Middle English enhauncen < Anglo-French enhauncer, apparently for Old French enhaucer, equivalent to en- en-1 + haucer “to raise” (French hausser) from the unattested Vulgar Latin altiāre (derivative of Latin altus “high,” with h- < Germanic; see haughty), though -n- is unexplained
Related forms
enhancement, noun
enhancive, adjective
self-enhancement, noun
unenhanced, adjective
1. diminish. 2. reduce.
Synonym Study
2. See elevate. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for enhancement
Historical Examples
  • Human strength increases with enhancement and decreases with enfeeblement.

    Epistle Sermons, Vol. II Martin Luther
  • It was a comfort to him in all his vexations, an enhancement of all his joys.

    The Little Lame Prince Miss Mulock--Pseudonym of Maria Dinah Craik
  • To have done with this and the measles was justly considered an enhancement in value.

    Slavery in Pennsylvania Edward Raymond Turner
  • It was a comfort to him in all his vexations; an enhancement of all his joys.

  • The effect of continued light on Mimosa is an enhancement of excitability.

    Life Movements in Plants Sir Jagadis Chunder Bose
  • Truth is merely a means for the enhancement of my subjective satisfaction.

    Prophets of Dissent Otto Heller
  • Each had a duty to perform towards its furtherance and enhancement.


    Ellen Newbold La Motte
  • But this enhancement of life is exhibited not only in extension but in intensity.

    Outspoken Essays William Ralph Inge
  • Still the export continued, and in 1475 the process of enhancement had to be repeated as a measure of defence for the gold specie.

  • The course of the enhancement of foreign prices is thus argued between the merchant and the doctor.

British Dictionary definitions for enhancement


(transitive) to intensify or increase in quality, value, power, etc; improve; augment
Derived Forms
enhancement, noun
enhancer, noun
enhancive, adjective
Word Origin
C14: from Old French enhaucier, from en-1 + haucier to raise, from Vulgar Latin altiāre (unattested), from Latin altus high
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for enhancement

1570s, from enhance + -ment.



late 13c., anhaunsen "to raise, make higher," from Anglo-French enhauncer, probably from Old French enhaucier "make greater, make higher or louder; fatten, foster; raise in esteem," from Vulgar Latin *inaltiare, from Late Latin inaltare "raise, exalt," from altare "make high," from altus "high" (see old).

Meaning "raise in station, wealth, or fame" attested in English from c.1300. The -h- in Old French supposedly from influence of Frankish *hoh "high." Related: Enhanced; enhancing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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