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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
heightened security (=more than usual)
▪ There is heightened security around Heathrow following the bomb threats.
heightened tension (=greater than before)
▪ a time of heightened tension between the two countries
▪ Should Gatting and his crew receive their paroles one's sympathy for refuseniks like Rob Bailey can only heighten.
▪ The stepped-up Republican attack against Mr Rubin only heightened investors' concern over the budget stalemate in Washington.
▪ Excerpts from the book proposal, published on, a gossipy website, only heightened the mystery.
▪ The added wrinkle of possible impeachment proceedings only heightened investors' concern over the budget stalemate in Washington.
▪ Hoddle's refusal to deny that he's about leave has only heightened the suspicion that he is.
▪ These defeats only heighten the fact that victory today is vital.
▪ And the protesters' anger was heightened when Environment Secretary Michael Howard refused to see them about their fears.
▪ His concern was heightened when he saw a local trouble-maker, a man called Slatter.
▪ Police hope the bus advertising campaign will help heighten public awareness of Operation Blade.
▪ Despite heightened public awareness in the last decade, the need for donated organs still far exceeds the supply.
▪ Obviously, television has heightened awareness of the sport, but that is only half the story.
▪ McKenna had me look skyward to help release a burst of alpha waves, the ones that make you heighten your awareness.
▪ Yet the very decision not to touch only served to heighten the awareness of what could happen when they did.
▪ This will heighten your awareness of little-word buildup, and help you revise quickly.
▪ This week it has launched the Depression Awareness Week Nationwide campaign to inform and heighten public awareness about depression.
▪ Gary McCaleb, mayor of Abilene, Texas, said Brown could heighten awareness about the importance of city government.
▪ The army takeover has heightened international concern.
▪ To heighten concern about the Convention, Broken Promise could not have come out at a better time.
▪ The passive role of television viewers simply heightens its effect.
▪ These defeats only heighten the fact that victory today is vital.
▪ But for the true enthusiasts that simply heightened the sense of anticipation.
▪ His sense of the present moment heightened, and his sense of history and context diminished.
▪ And the team talks he had first started at Leeds heightened their sense of involvement.
▪ The silence on the terraces outside the monastery heightens the sense of remove from the everyday world.
▪ Progress, as expected, was slight, although everyone left with a heightened sense of urgency about the bargaining ahead.
▪ Those who stayed at Black Mountain and went through the fire together developed a heightened sense of kinship.
▪ As always, the pleasure was heightened by the sense of guilt that accompanied it.
▪ Studying the pictures to heighten their sense of what the words say.
▪ The deadlock in electing a president heightened the political tension in the country.
▪ Both were involved in high-profile incidents last semester that heightened racial tensions on campus.
▪ Another area of heightened tension is the controversy over the draft of the new constitution proposed by Mr Mugabe.
▪ The upshot of all this was to heighten the military tension on the divided peninsula.
▪ To some extent, the resistance to Lee reflects the heightened partisan tension in Washington this fall.
▪ But the case has raised eyebrows if not heightened tensions.
▪ The succession struggle is going to heighten tensions between the party's fundamentalist and gradualist factions.
▪ The organizers had strongly denied government accusations that the protest was an attempt to heighten political tensions.
▪ Thursday's hike in interest rates had served only to heighten that conviction.
▪ Verbal exchanges in the days leading up to the opening ceremony had served only to heighten the interest in the event.
▪ Fears of an invasion were heightened by long-range bomb attacks.
▪ Publicity has heightened awareness of the threats to the environment.
▪ The divorce heightened speculation about a possible second marriage.
▪ Trade tends to be protected when international tensions heighten.
▪ McKenna had me look skyward to help release a burst of alpha waves, the ones that make you heighten your awareness.
▪ Progress, as expected, was slight, although everyone left with a heightened sense of urgency about the bargaining ahead.
▪ Some observers say this is due to a heightened fear of crime.
▪ The characters have a heightened and highly emotional response to events, actions and sentiments.
▪ The concentration of labour both facilitated organization among workers and heightened the political significance of labour protest.
▪ To heighten his own flow of adrenaline, he ignores the advice of friends who urge him to wear a reserve chute.
▪ Workplace 2000 demands a heightened quantity of leadership, not just a heightened quality.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Heighten \Height"en\ (h[imac]t"'n), v. t. [Written also highten.] [imp. & p. p. Heightened; p. pr. & vb. n. Heightening.]

  1. To make high; to raise higher; to elevate.

  2. To carry forward; to advance; to increase; to augment; to aggravate; to intensify; to render more conspicuous; -- used of things, good or bad; as, to heighten beauty; to heighten a flavor or a tint. ``To heighten our confusion.''

    An aspect of mystery which was easily heightened to the miraculous.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

mid-15c., heightenen "to exalt, to honor or raise to high position," from height + -en (1). Related: Heightened; heightening.


vb. 1 To make high; to raise higher; to elevate. 2 To advance, increase, augment, make larger, more intense, stronger etc.

  1. v. become more extreme; "The tension heightened" [syn: rise]

  2. make more extreme; raise in quantity, degree, or intensity; "heightened interest"

  3. increase; "This will enhance your enjoyment"; "heighten the tension" [syn: enhance, raise]

  4. increase the height of; "The athletes kept jumping over the steadily heightened bars"

  5. make (one's senses) more acute; "This drug will sharpen your vision" [syn: sharpen]

  6. make more intense, stronger, or more marked; "The efforts were intensified", "Her rudeness intensified his dislike for her"; "Potsmokers claim it heightens their awareness"; "This event only deepened my convictions" [syn: intensify, compound, deepen]

Usage examples of "heighten".

The difficulty of procuring provisions was extreme, and the means he was compelled to employ for that purpose greatly heightened the evil, at the same time insubordination and want of discipline prevailed to such an alarming degree that it would be as difficult as painful to depict the situation of our army at this period, Marmont, by his steady conduct, fortunately succeeded in correcting the disorders which prevailed, and very soon found himself at the head of a well-organised army, amounting to 30,000 infantry, with forty pieces of artillery, but he had only a very small body of cavalry, and those ill-mounted.

Emily Moseley had just completed her eighteenth year, and was gifted by nature with a vivacity and ardency of feeling that gave a heightened zest to the enjoyments of that happy age.

It has been found, for example, that when given in massive doses some of the vitamins -- nicotinic acid and ascorbic acid for example -- sometimes produce a certain heightening of psychic energy.

I had not entered into this heightened state, this battle awen, since Goddeu.

It came to me that I had not entered into this heightened state, this battle awen, since Goddeu.

The sensation is heightened as the tidings spread from mouth to mouth that the beadle is on the ground and has gone in.

He tried to cock his left fist, his ears roaring with the heightened pulse of the bloodsong Bogie sang.

Her sense of smell, so heightened now that it might have been a new sense altogether, had picked up the coolth of running water off this way, dimmed by the green odor of the grass.

To heighten the effect of my mystic exhortation I dosed him heavily with wine, and did not let him go till he had fallen into a drunken sleep.

The injured duelist never failed to heighten her color, particularly when she remembered how she had sat straddled across his legs in her chemise, all modesty cast to the four winds.

Liquor, fortunately, had an energizing effect on Janice, heightening her perceptions even as it dulled her senses and quieted her alarms.

With enormous, heightened strength, howling like a wild beast, Saigo hacked at the Captain who slipped on the polished floor and was, for an instant, helpless.

Her discourse had all the fire of eloquence, and was heightened by her expressive face and the flaming glances she shot from her eyes.

And even worse, there was no lessening of his sexual urge but a heightening, a greater obsession to pillow than before, one that had already driven him to the insanity of two nights ago with Angelique, not that he did not still desire her, he did, more than ever, and knew without a release he would try again and would not fail next time.

Their uneasiness was also not a little heightened by new broils between their king and the parliament of Paris, occasioned by the obstinacy of the clergy of that kingdom, who seemed determined to support the church, in all events, against the secular tribunals, and as much as possible to enforce the observance of the bull Unigenitus, which had long been the occasion of so many disputes among them.