[ en-lahyt-n ]
See synonyms for enlighten on Thesaurus.com
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

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English enli(g)htenen; see en-1, lighten1

Other words for enlighten

Opposites for enlighten

Other words from enlighten

  • en·light·ened·ly, adverb
  • en·light·ened·ness, noun
  • en·light·en·er, noun
  • non·en·light·ened, adjective
  • pre·en·light·en, verb (used with object)
  • pre·en·light·en·er, noun
  • re·en·light·en, verb (used with object)
  • un·en·light·ened, adjective
  • well-en·light·ened, adjective

Words Nearby enlighten

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use enlighten in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for enlighten


/ (ɪnˈlaɪtən) /

  1. to give information or understanding to; instruct; edify

  2. to free from ignorance, prejudice, or superstition

  1. to give spiritual or religious revelation to

  2. poetic to shed light on

Derived forms of enlighten

  • 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