Try Our Apps
Dictionary.com

follow Dictionary.com

The Best Internet Slang

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.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for enlightened
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Listening to her I was no longer the enlightened, the creedless man.

    Green Mansions W. H. Hudson
  • Called "trousers" by the enlightened and "pants" by the unworthy.

    The Devil's Dictionary Ambrose Bierce
  • He possessed a soul brave, liberal, enlightened, and ingenuous.

  • Such were the remarks of my amiable and enlightened father-in-law!

  • Her liberal principles and her enlightened views are acknowledged by all.

    Vivian Grey Earl of Beaconsfield, Benjamin Disraeli
British Dictionary definitions for enlightened

enlightened

/ɪnˈlaɪtənd/
adjective
1.
factually well-informed, tolerant of alternative opinions, and guided by rational thought: an enlightened administration, enlightened self-interest
2.
privy to or claiming a sense of spiritual or religious revelation of truth: the search for an enlightened spiritual master

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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for enlightened
adj.

1630s, "illuminated;" 1660s in the sense "well-informed;" past participle adjective from enlighten.

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
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for enlighten

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for enlightened

16
19
Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for enlightened