9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[en-lahyt-n] /ɛnˈlaɪt n/
verb (used with object)
to give intellectual or spiritual light to; instruct; impart knowledge to:
We hope the results of our research will enlighten our colleagues.
Archaic. to shed light upon.
Origin of enlighten
1350-1400; Middle English enli(g)htenen. See en-1, lighten1
Related forms
enlightenedly, adverb
enlightenedness, noun
enlightener, noun
enlighteningly, adverb
nonenlightened, adjective
nonenlightening, adjective
preenlighten, verb (used with object)
preenlightener, noun
reenlighten, verb (used with object)
unenlightened, adjective
unenlightening, adjective
well-enlightened, adjective
1. illumine, edify, teach, inform.
1. mystify, confuse, perplex, puzzle. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for enlightening
  • Dedicated to providing community centers that are enlightening, educational, and entertaining.
  • His point of view, however, spoiled an otherwise enlightening article.
  • There is so much horror in the world today that involving oneself in another animal that is threatened is enlightening.
  • Even if the book doesn't change your life, it's both enlightening and erudite.
  • His thoughts on the creative process are so enlightening.
  • Visit one near you for a fun and enlightening day trip.
  • His response to the lecture was both enlightening and troubling.
  • We all look to cogent or enlightening commentary in a science magazine.
  • To all: your comments were more enlightening than the article.
  • For anyone interested in the power of words this is an enlightening read cs.
British Dictionary definitions for enlightening


verb (transitive)
to give information or understanding to; instruct; edify
to free from ignorance, prejudice, or superstition
to give spiritual or religious revelation to
(poetic) to shed light on
Derived Forms
enlightener, noun
enlightening, adjective
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for enlightening



late 14c., "to remove the dimness or blindness (usually figurative) from one's eyes or heart;" see en- (1) + lighten. Old English had inlihtan. Related: Enlightened; enlightening.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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