from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- transitive v. To give spiritual or intellectual insight to: "Enlighten the people generally, and tyranny and oppression of body and mind will vanish like evil spirits at the dawn of day” ( Thomas Jefferson).
- transitive v. To give information to; inform or instruct.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- v. To supply with light; to illuminate; as, the sun enlightens the earth.
- v. 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.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- transitive v. To supply with light; to illuminate.
- transitive v. 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.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To shed light upon; supply with light; illuminate.
- To give intellectual or spiritual light to; illuminate by increase of knowledge and wisdom; instruct; impart knowledge to: as, to enlighten an ignorant community; she was soon enlightened as to his motives.
- Synonyms To illume, illumine, irradiate.
- To teach.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- v. give spiritual insight to; in religion
- v. make free from confusion or ambiguity; make clear
- v. make understand
Formerly also inlighten, from Middle English enlightenen, inlightnen, a hybrid formed from Middle English inlighten ("to enlighten, illuminate"), from Old English inlīhtan, onlīhtan, enlīhten ("to enlighten, illuminate, give light to, give sight to") and Middle English lightnen ("to enlighten, illuminate") (equivalent to light + -en). Cognate with Dutch inlichten ("to enlighten, inform"), Old High German inliuhten ("to enlighten, illuminate"), Gothic 𐌹𐌽𐌻𐌹𐌿𐌷𐍄𐌾𐌰𐌽 (inliuhtjan, "to enlighten, illuminate"). More at inlight, -en. (Wiktionary)