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From Middle English enlargen, from Old French enlargier, enlargir.



enlarge (third-person singular simple present enlarges, present participle enlarging, simple past and past participle enlarged)

  1. (transitive) To make larger.
  2. (intransitive) To grow larger.
  3. (transitive) To increase the capacity of; to expand; to give free scope or greater scope to; also, to dilate, as with joy, affection, etc.
    Knowledge enlarges the mind.
  4. (intransitive) To speak or write at length upon or on (some subject)
    • 1664, Samuel Butler, Hudibras 2.2.68:
      I shall enlarge upon the Point.
  5. (archaic) To release; to set at large.
    • 1580, Philip Sidney, Arcadia 329:
      Like a Lionesse lately enlarged.
    • 1596, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, IV.8:
      Finding no meanes how I might us enlarge, / But if that Dwarfe I could with me convay, / I lightly snatcht him up and with me bore away.
    • (Can we date this quote by Barrow and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      It will enlarge us from all restraints.
    • 1599, William Shakespeare, Henry V, Act II Scene II:
      Uncle of Exeter, enlarge the man committed yesterday, that rail'd against our person. We consider it was excess of wine that set him on.
  6. (nautical) To get more astern or parallel with the vessel's course; to draw aft; said of the wind.
  7. (law) To extend the time allowed for compliance with (an order or rule).
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Abbott to this entry?)


Related terms[edit]