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[en-hans, -hahns]
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verb (used with object), en·hanced, en·hanc·ing.
  1. to raise to a higher degree; intensify; magnify: The candlelight enhanced her beauty.
  2. to raise the value or price of: Rarity enhances the worth of old coins.
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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 formsen·hance·ment, nounen·hanc·ive, adjectiveself-en·hance·ment, nounun·en·hanced, adjective

Synonym study

2. See elevate.


Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


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

British Dictionary definitions for enhancement


  1. (tr) to intensify or increase in quality, value, power, etc; improve; augment
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Derived Formsenhancement, nounenhancer, nounenhancive, 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

Word Origin and History for enhancement


1570s, from enhance + -ment.

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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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper