Also found in: Thesaurus, Idioms, Wikipedia.


tr.v. en·light·ened, en·light·en·ing, en·light·ens
1. 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).
2. To give information to; inform or instruct.

en·light′en·er n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
But as it is in no way proved that the aim of humanity does consist in freedom, equality, enlightenment, or civilization, and as the connection of the people with the rulers and enlighteners of humanity is only based on the arbitrary assumption that the collective will of the people is always transferred to the men whom we have noticed, it happens that the activity of the millions who migrate, burn houses, abandon agriculture, and destroy one another never is expressed in the account of the activity of some dozen people who did not burn houses, practice agriculture, or slay their fellow creatures.
(23) Another "nationally oriented" petition of the congress requested the publication of the Romanian-language religious journal Luminatorul (The Enlightener).
Like Said, Kabbani (1994 5-6) suggests that Western narratives of the Orient portray the colonizer not as "exploiter, but as enlightener. He was not seeking mere profit, but was fulfilling his duty to his Maker and his sovereign, whilst aiding those less fortunate to rise toward his lofty level.
Eagleton contends that the writer should serve as a social enlightener; and the work of art should become an instrument of social development (43).
Udmurt] homeland has become famous (16) [phrase omitted] old-ADJ year-PL-ILL our-PRON.POSS.INCL peasant-ADJ poor-ADJ [phrase omitted] people-ACC enlightener not-NEG if-NEG be-PAST 'Since there was nobody to enlighten our [my and yourPL] poor peasant people in days of old' (17) [phrase omitted] languageless-ADJ nation-PL not but-CONJ our-PRON.POSS.INCL [phrase omitted] mother-ADJ tongue-Px.PL1 this-PRON moment-ILL very-ADV dangerous-ADJ [phrase omitted] situation-ILL get into-PCPL.PAST-INESS 'There are no nations lacking languages, but our [my and yourPL, i.e.
Part of his library contained Arabic translations of Robinson Crusoe and of Russian historical books; Tahirova qualifies al-Alqadari as an "enlightener." Milena Osmanova analyzes the emergence of local lithographic printing in the first two decades of the twentieth century, which made Arabic and vernacular literatures much more accessible to the population.
I can start, for example, with a New Testament missioner, in fact the first one, the Samaritan woman, St Fotini in Orthodox tradition, continue with Thecla, St Phoebe, St Nino the Enlightener of Georgia, St Macrina, St Olympia, St Melania the Roman, and conclude with Maria Skobtsova, a Russian intellectual, activist, and divorced mother who become a nun.
Livonian Enlightener August Wilhelm Hupel 1737-1819.
Seraphim of Sarov (175411759-1833), or the enlightener of the Aleuts St.
(Enlightener) Church in Buenos Aires, laid a wreath and flowers at the obelisk of the Armenian Genocide victims and the monument of