to increase the degree or amount of; augment: Cézanne's death heightened the value of his paintings.
to strengthen, deepen, or intensify: to heighten the plot of a story; to heighten one's awareness or appreciation; to heighten one's suffering.
to bring out the important features of, as in a drawing: to heighten a picture with Chinese white.
to become higher.
to increase: The tension heightened as the enemy forces advanced.
to brighten or become more intense.
- height·en·er, noun
- un·height·ened, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use heighten in a sentence
It was precisely the kind of wildland-urban interface that all the studies I read blamed for heightening Californians’ exposure to climate risks.Climate Change Will Force a New American Migration | by Abrahm Lustgarten, photography by Meridith Kohut | September 15, 2020 | ProPublica
Without the law, new internet companies would have more difficulty getting aloft, while established platforms would block many more posts in response to heightened litigation risks.Why the most controversial US internet law is worth saving | Amy Nordrum | September 9, 2020 | MIT Technology Review
I think they’ve handled this moment with a lot of grace and dignity, and it is heightening awareness of the need to stick with solutions.
The roll-out heightens Walmart’s competition with Amazon as retailers of all types try to capitalize on soaring consumer interest in e-commerce during the pandemic.Walmart’s Amazon Prime challenger is launching Sept. 15 | radmarya | September 1, 2020 | Fortune
Amid concerns over police brutality and pandemic-heightened economic anxiety, cities have seen scattered outbreaks of violence and looting in recent months.
For Kirke it was being paid to pretend to play the oboe that heightened her affair with classical music.‘Mozart in the Jungle’: Inside Amazon’s Brave New World of Sex, Drugs, and Classical Music | Kevin Fallon | December 23, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
She stands, dressed in a tutu, on one pointed foot in a heightened fifth position.
It is an extreme, heightened set-up, I say: the whole hostage-taking, life-imperiled prolog.Sex, Blood, and Screaming: Blackout’s Dark Frights | Tim Teeman | October 7, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
The Mossad high command must surely be convening emergency meetings in an atmosphere of tension and heightened alertness.Mossad’s Greatest Female Assassin: An Excerpt From ‘Sylvia Rafael’ | Ram Oren, Moti Kfir | September 20, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
The memo, citing a heightened security threat, said that the attacks were scheduled for July 25, 2014.Obama’s ‘Yemen Model’ for the War on ISIS Is a Wreck | Shuaib Almosawa | September 12, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
The change was visible in his heightened colour, in his flashing eyes, and in his twitching mustachios.St. Martin's Summer | Rafael Sabatini
As I turn to her, I am struck by the peculiar gleam in her eyes and the heightened color.Prison Memoirs of an Anarchist | Alexander Berkman
“I shall like it of all things,” he cried, with sparkling eyes and heightened colour.The Floating Light of the Goodwin Sands | R.M. Ballantyne
Facing Mildred, whose color was heightened by the intensity of her emotion, he began softly to play.The Fifth String | John Philip Sousa
But the airs which he gave himself only heightened the respect and admiration which he inspired.The History of England from the Accession of James II. | Thomas Babington Macaulay
British Dictionary definitions for heighten
to make or become high or higher
to make or become more extreme or intense
- heightened, adjective
- heightener, noun
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