[ hahyt-n ]
See synonyms for: heightenheightenedheightening on Thesaurus.com

verb (used with object)
  1. to increase the height of; make higher.

  2. to increase the degree or amount of; augment: Cézanne's death heightened the value of his paintings.

  1. to strengthen, deepen, or intensify: to heighten the plot of a story; to heighten one's awareness or appreciation; to heighten one's suffering.

  2. to bring out the important features of, as in a drawing: to heighten a picture with Chinese white.

verb (used without object)
  1. to become higher.

  2. to increase: The tension heightened as the enemy forces advanced.

  1. to brighten or become more intense.

Origin of heighten

First recorded in 1515–25; height + -en1

synonym study For heighten

1. See elevate.

Other words from heighten

  • 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

British Dictionary definitions for heighten


/ (ˈhaɪtən) /

  1. to make or become high or higher

  2. to make or become more extreme or intense

Derived forms of heighten

  • 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