enlightened; enlightening; enlightens

To enlighten someone means to explain something clearly to him. If your friend is behaving strangely but insists she has a reason for it, you could ask her to enlighten you.

Enlighten comes from the metaphor that ignorance is a state of being "in the dark," and that knowledge is illuminating. We use enlighten as a verb meaning to clear up, to remove confusion. Light is also a powerful metaphor for spiritual insight. If you have a great revelation about the divinity of the world, you could say you have been enlightened. The era known as the "Age of Reason" is also called the Enlightenment.

Definitions of enlighten
  1. verb
    give spiritual insight to; in religion
    synonyms: irradiate
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    type of:
    prophesy, vaticinate
    predict or reveal through, or as if through, divine inspiration
  2. verb
    make understand
    “Can you enlighten me--I don't understand this proposal”
    synonyms: edify
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    type of:
    instruct, learn, teach
    impart skills or knowledge to
  3. verb
    make free from confusion or ambiguity; make clear
DISCLAIMER: These example sentences appear in various news sources and books to reflect the usage of the word ‘enlighten'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of or its editors. Send us feedback
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