\ \ [14] To enhance something is literally to ‘make it higher’. The word comes via Anglo- Norman enhauncer from Old French enhaucer, a descendant of Vulgar Latin *inaltiāreraise’.
\ \ This was a verb formed from the Latin intensive prefix in- and the adjective altushigh’ (source of English altitude). This original literal sense persisted into English (‘It was a stone, the which was enhanced upright’, William Caxton, Charles the Great 1485), but had largely died out by the end of the 16th century, leaving the field clear for the metaphorical ‘augment’.

Word origins - 2ed. . 2005.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Enhance — En*hance , v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Enhanced}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Enhancing}.] [Norm. F. enhauncer, enhaucer, OF. enhaleier, enhaucier; pref. en (L. in) + haucier to lift, raise up, from an assumed L. altiare, fr. L. altus high; cf. Pr. enansar,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • enhance — en‧hance [ɪnˈhɑːns ǁ ɪnˈhæns] verb [transitive] to improve the quality or value of something: • The performance of some Windows programs should be enhanced by the Unix hardware. enhanced adjective : • The plan was to offer senior officers… …   Financial and business terms

  • Enhance — En*hance , v. i. To be raised up; to grow larger; as, a debt enhances rapidly by compound interest. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • enhance — I verb add to, advance in value, aggrandize, ampliricare, amplify, appreciate, augere, augment, better, boost, brighten, cultivate, deepen, develop, elaborate, elevate, emphasize, enlarge, enrich, escalate, exaggerate, expand, extend, heighten,… …   Law dictionary

  • enhance — late 13c., anhaunsen to raise, make higher, from Anglo Fr. enhauncer, probably from O.Fr. enhaucier make greater, make higher or louder; fatten, foster; raise in esteem, from V.L. *inaltiare, from L.L. inaltare raise, exalt, from altare make high …   Etymology dictionary

  • enhance — heighten, *intensify, aggravate Analogous words: iift, elevate, raise: *exalt, magnify, aggrandize: augment, increase: *adorn, embellish, beautify Contrasted words: diminish, reduce, lessen, *decrease: attenuate, extenuate, *thin: belittle,… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • enhance — means ‘to improve or intensify (something already good)’ and is used typically with reference to achievements, reputations, values, effectiveness, efficiency, performance, capability, etc. It is not used with a person as object; The book enhanced …   Modern English usage

  • enhance — [v] improve, embellish add to, adorn, aggrandize, amplify, appreciate, augment, beautify, boom, boost, build up, complement, elevate, embroider, enlarge, exaggerate, exalt, flesh out*, heighten, increase, intensify, lift, magnify, pad*, pyramid* …   New thesaurus

  • enhance — ► VERB ▪ increase the quality, value, or extent of. DERIVATIVES enhancement noun enhancer noun. ORIGIN originally in the sense «elevate»: from Old French enhauncer, from Latin altus high …   English terms dictionary

  • enhance — [en hans′, inhäns′; inhans′, inhäns′] vt. enhanced, enhancing [ME enhauncen < Anglo Fr enhauncer < OFr enhaucier < VL * inaltiare < in , EN 1 + * altiare, to raise < L altus, high] 1. to make greater, as in cost, value,… …   English World dictionary

  • enhance — 01. Eyeshadow [enhances] the natural contours of the eye. 02. When I put flowers on the table, it really [enhances] the room. 03. Reading in English is an excellent way to [enhance] your vocabulary. 04. The clothes she wore [enhanced] her beauty …   Grammatical examples in English

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