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

Related Words for unenlightened

uninformed, unlearned

Examples from the Web for unenlightened

Contemporary Examples of unenlightened

Historical Examples of unenlightened

  • An unenlightened person who thinks one country better than another.

  • And now, I said, let me show in a figure how far our nature is enlightened or unenlightened:—Behold!

  • The problem of Good has bothered the unenlightened for ages.

  • The enemies of France, and those who, all unenlightened, attack the Church.

  • There, he said to himself, sat a stubborn and unenlightened man.

    Gladiator

    Philip Wylie


British Dictionary definitions for unenlightened

unenlightened

adjective
  1. not well-informed, tolerant, or rationala most backward, unenlightened nation

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 unenlightened
adj.

1660s, "not lit up," from un- (1) "not" + past participle of enlighten. Meaning "not mentally illuminated" is attested from 1650s.

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