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enlighten

[en-lahyt-n] /ɛnˈlaɪt n/
verb (used with object)
1.
to give intellectual or spiritual light to; instruct; impart knowledge to:
We hope the results of our research will enlighten our colleagues.
2.
Archaic. to shed light upon.
Origin of enlighten
1350-1400
First recorded in 1350-1400, enlighten is from the Middle English word enli(g)htenen. See en-1, lighten1
Related forms
enlightenedly, adverb
enlightenedness, noun
enlightener, noun
enlighteningly, adverb
nonenlightened, adjective
nonenlightening, adjective
preenlighten, verb (used with object)
preenlightener, noun
reenlighten, verb (used with object)
unenlightened, adjective
unenlightening, adjective
well-enlightened, adjective
Synonyms
1. illumine, edify, teach, inform.
Antonyms
1. mystify, confuse, perplex, puzzle.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for enlighten
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Wheatstone by his knowledge of Ohm's law and the electro-magnet was probably able to enlighten him.

  • On this point he found an opportunity to enlighten me before taking his seat.

    Ruggles of Red Gap Harry Leon Wilson
  • You seem learned in the law, young farmer; enlighten us, pray.

  • I have no doubt, gentlemen, that you will think harshly of me because I did not enlighten the Vicomte.

    Bardelys the Magnificent Rafael Sabatini
  • I must enlighten the Keeper of the Seals and the judges at Toulouse concerning my identity.

    Bardelys the Magnificent Rafael Sabatini
British Dictionary definitions for enlighten

enlighten

/ɪnˈlaɪtən/
verb (transitive)
1.
to give information or understanding to; instruct; edify
2.
to free from ignorance, prejudice, or superstition
3.
to give spiritual or religious revelation to
4.
(poetic) to shed light on
Derived Forms
enlightener, noun
enlightening, adjective
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 enlighten
v.

late 14c., "to remove the dimness or blindness (usually figurative) from one's eyes or heart;" see en- (1) + lighten. Old English had inlihtan. Related: Enlightened; enlightening.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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