Definition of enlighten in English:

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Pronunciation: /inˈlītn/
Pronunciation: /enˈlītn/


[with object]
1Give (someone) greater knowledge and understanding about a subject or situation: Christopher had not enlightened Frances as to their relationship
More example sentences
  • Still, I was wondering if any readers might know more details, and enlighten me on the subject.
  • Roger was enlightened on the subject and had much to say.
  • Perhaps Professor George could enlighten me on the subject.
1.1Give (someone) spiritual knowledge or insight.
Example sentences
  • He is not just another man in the long line of religious teachers, he is just another spiritual master enlightened by knowledge, or another prophet in the long line of prophets.
  • I think it is my responsibility to enlighten people on a spiritual level.
  • At its best, it enchants and enlightens us, enriching our spiritual lives.
1.2 archaic Shed light on (an object).
Example sentences
  • In front of the town there are high and mighty cliffs which were enlightened with strong lights, put up by my uncle, an electrician working for the town.
  • Even in the dreary weather, a small ray of light cascaded down, enlightening the sparkle of the gold, which Elsa wore.
  • Candles burned every where to enlighten the room.



Example sentences
  • Together with the revolutionaries who were prepared to give their lives for their country's freedom, the enlighteners inspired Bulgaria's people and insisted that those of this country could say, ‘we have given something to the world’.
  • God is made known to men by the grace of the Guru, the enlightener.
  • True, he has ceased calling himself an artist in interviews, preferring to be regarded as an enlightener and inventor, as a scientist.


Middle English (in the sense 'make luminous'; formerly also as inlighten): in early use from Old English inlīhtan 'to shine'; later from en-1, in-2 (as an intensifier) + lighten2 or the noun light1.

Words that rhyme with enlighten

Blyton, brighten, Brighton, Crichton, frighten, heighten, lighten, righten, tighten, titan, triton, whiten

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: en·light·en

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