enlighten

[en-lahyt-n]
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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, enlighten is from the Middle English word enli(g)htenen. See en-1, lighten1
Related formsen·light·ened·ly, adverben·light·ened·ness, nounen·light·en·er, nounen·light·en·ing·ly, adverbnon·en·light·ened, adjectivenon·en·light·en·ing, adjectivepre·en·light·en, verb (used with object)pre·en·light·en·er, nounre·en·light·en, verb (used with object)un·en·light·ened, adjectiveun·en·light·en·ing, adjectivewell-en·light·ened, adjective

Synonyms for enlighten

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Antonyms for enlighten

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


Examples from the Web for enlighten

Contemporary Examples of enlighten

Historical Examples of enlighten

  • 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.

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


British Dictionary definitions for enlighten

enlighten

verb (tr)
  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 Formsenlightener, nounenlightening, 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

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