AskDefine | Define enlighten

Dictionary Definition



1 make understand; "Can you enlighten me--I don't understand this proposal" [syn: edify]
2 give spiritual insight to; in religion [syn: irradiate]
3 make free from confusion or ambiguity; make clear; "Could you clarify these remarks?"; "Clear up the question of who is at fault" [syn: clear, clear up, shed light on, crystallize, crystallise, crystalize, crystalise, straighten out, sort out, illuminate, elucidate]

User Contributed Dictionary



Uncertain; any of the following are possible ways in which enlighten was formed:


  1. To supply with light; to illuminate; as, the sun enlightens the earth.
  2. To make clear to the intellect or conscience; to shed the light of truth and knowledge upon; to furnish with increase of knowledge; to instruct; as, to enlighten the mind or understanding.


supply with light
  • French: éclairer
  • Greek: φωτίζω (fotízo)
  • Hebrew:
make clear to the intellect
  • Greek: διαφωτίζω (diafotízo)
  • Hebrew:



Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

account for, acculturate, acquaint, advance, advertise, advertise of, advise, allegorize, ameliorate, amend, apprise, awaken, beacon, better, boost, break the spell, brief, brighten, brighten up, bring forward, bring word, broaden the mind, burst the bubble, catechize, civilize, clarify, clear up, coach, communicate, correct, counsel, crack, debunk, decipher, demonstrate, demythologize, direct, disabuse, disappoint, disclose, disenchant, disillude, disillusion, disillusionize, edify, educate, elevate, elucidate, emend, enhance, enrich, euhemerize, exemplify, explain, explain away, explicate, expose, exposit, expound, familiarize, fatten, favor, flood with light, floodlight, forward, foster, give instruction, give lessons in, give notice, give reason for, give the facts, give the meaning, give word, go straight, ground, guide, highlight, illume, illuminate, illumine, illustrate, improve, improve upon, inform, instruct, irradiate, lard, leave word, let down easy, let in on, let know, lift, light, light up, lighten, luminate, make an improvement, make clear, make plain, meliorate, mend, mention to, notify, nurture, open the eyes, overshine, popularize, prick the bubble, promote, put straight, raise, rationalize, reeducate, refine upon, reform, relume, relumine, report, school, send word, serve notice, set right, set straight, sharpen the wits, shed light upon, shine upon, show, show how, show the way, show up, simplify, socialize, solve, speak, spell out, spotlight, straighten out, teach, teach a lesson, teach the rudiments, tell, tell the truth, throw light upon, train, transfigure, transform, tutor, unblindfold, uncharm, undeceive, unfold, unlock, unravel, unspell, upgrade, uplift, verse, wake up
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