Enhance vs Magnify - What's the difference?

enhance | magnify |

In lang=en terms the difference between enhance and magnify

is that enhance is to be raised up; to grow larger while magnify is to make (something) appear larger by means of a lens, magnifying glass, telescope etc.

As verbs the difference between enhance and magnify

is that enhance is (obsolete) to lift, raise up while magnify is to praise, glorify (someone or something, especially god).



Alternative forms

* inhance * enhaunce * inhaunce


  • (obsolete) To lift, raise up.
  • * 1590 , Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene , I.i:
  • nought aghast, his mightie hand enhaunst : / The stroke down from her head vnto her shoulder glaunst.
    (Wyclif Bible)
  • To augment or make something greater.
  • * Southey
  • The reputation of ferocity enhanced the value of their services, in making them feared as well as hated.
  • * 2000 , Mordecai Roshwald, Liberty: Its Meaning and Scope , page 155
  • A hereditary monarch relies on pomp and ceremony, which enhance the respect for the institution
  • To improve something by adding features.
  • * 1986 , Maggie Righetti, Knitting in Plain English , page 192
  • A pom-pom to top off a stocking cap, a fringe to feather the edge of a shawl, tassels to define the points of an afghan, these are just a few of the delightful little goodies that enhance handknit things.
  • To be raised up; to grow larger.
  • A debt enhances rapidly by compound interest.


    * See also




  • To praise, glorify (someone or something, especially god).
  • * 1526 , (William Tyndale), trans. Bible , Acts X:
  • For they herde them speake with tonges, and magnify God.
  • * 1644 , (John Milton), (Aeropagitica) :
  • For he who freely magnifies what hath been nobly done, and fears not to declare as freely what might be done better, gives ye the best cov'nant of his fidelity [...].
  • To make (something) larger or more important.
  • * Grew
  • The least error in a small quantitybe proportionately magnified .
  • * {{quote-book, year=2006, author=(Edwin Black), title=Internal Combustion
  • , chapter=2 citation , passage=But through the oligopoly, charcoal fuel proliferated throughout London's trades and industries. By the 1200s, brewers and bakers, tilemakers, glassblowers, pottery producers, and a range of other craftsmen all became hour-to-hour consumers of charcoal. This only magnified the indispensable nature of the oligopolists.}}
  • To make (someone or something) appear greater or more important than it is; to intensify, exaggerate.
  • To make (something) appear larger by means of a lens, magnifying glass, telescope etc.
  • * {{quote-magazine, year=2013, month=July-August, author= Catherine Clabby
  • , magazine=(American Scientist), title= Focus on Everything , passage=Not long ago, it was difficult to produce photographs of tiny creatures with every part in focus. That’s because the lenses that are excellent at magnifying tiny subjects produce a narrow depth of field. A photo processing technique called focus stacking has changed that.}}
  • (intransitive, slang, obsolete) To have effect; to be of importance or significance.
  • (Spectator)

    Derived terms

    * magnifier * magnifying glass * magnification