Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for October 3, 2020 is:

enhance • in-HANSS  • verb

: heighten, increase; especially : to increase or improve in value, quality, desirability, or attractiveness


The newspaper company had hoped that including more full-color illustrations and adding extra news features would enhance its product and reverse the decline in circulation.

“If you want to learn something new, enhance your skills for career development, maintain your certification, or want to learn for the pleasure of personal enrichment, we have something for you.” — Marilyn Murphy Fore, The Post & Courier (Georgetown, South Carolina), 27 Aug. 2020

Did you know?

When enhance was borrowed into English in the 13th century, it literally meant to raise something higher. That sense, though now obsolete, provides a clue about the origins of the word. Enhance, which was spelled enhauncen in Middle English, comes to us from Anglo-French enhaucer or enhauncer (“to raise”), which can be traced back to the Latin altus (“high”) by way of an assumed Vulgar Latin verb inaltiare, which would have been formed by combining the prefix in- with the Latin altus. Although enhance initially applied only to physically making things higher, it developed an additional and less literal sense of “to exalt especially in rank or spirit,” and quickly acquired extended figurative senses for raising the value or attractiveness of something or someone.

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