22

I'm thinking something along the lines of "imbue" or "instill", but neither of those words work perfectly unless you append "with value".

Ideally this would be a word that's used in a subject/object context, i.e. [subject] ____ [object to be made valuable], so something like "appreciate" doesn't quite work.

"Enrich" is the best I've come up with, but I'm curious if there's anything more interesting.

3
  • 1
    Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. It is also the subject of this meta question, mostly because some people believe that adequate context and an example sentence has already been provided by the OP, but others disagree with this notion. Such discussion belongs there not here.
    – tchrist
    Jul 17 at 17:32
  • @dekaliber, I appreciate the support but, even though my answer didn't deserve any of the shade some of the locals threw at it, it really shouldn't be marked as the best answer, either. As noted, the one I found is in the OED but only as an almost virtual word. Even worthen has shown up at least once and envalue apparently more than that, albeit no example currently provided really matches your sense.
    – lly
    Jul 19 at 19:36
  • @lly Haha, fair enough, though it answered my curiosity well. I didn't have a specific context in mind — this was more of a shower thought than anything else, so I appreciate you all for gamely humoring me. I admit that I was a bit surprised (and even slightly intimidated) by the amount of debate this attracted! It struck me that we have a very obvious word for making something less valuable ("devalue") but no clear equivalent for the positive. Before reflecting on what this says about society, I thought I'd check the wisdom of the crowds to see if I was missing something. Thanks all!
    – dekaliber
    Jul 20 at 23:55

11 Answers 11

44

There is one. No one uses it.

invalue, v.²

transitive. To make valuable; to give value to.

Literally no one. The OED notes that, as far as it can tell, it has only shown up in dictionaries glossing Latin invalidare or filling things out as a possible coinage. It hasn't been seen in the wild.

Incidentially, it's even less useful than it looks at first glance. That ² is there because there's an invalue, v.¹ which uses the other sense of the prefix in- to offer the exact opposite meaning: to reckon of no value or worth. That has (rarely) shown up in actual usage.

There are words for what you're trying to say but they're generally describing natural processes (interest and inflation naturally accrue or grow), recognizing the already intrinsic worth of something (antiques and mineral lodes can be discovered, recognized, appreciated, &c), or creating undeserved worth for untoward ends (talk up, pump, gild, &c). For all of those, though, the context needs to be clarified before the meaning will be clear. They won't have a simple abstract meaning of to increase sth in value on their own.

1
  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – tchrist
    Jul 17 at 17:32
13

endear (historically)

I've had to think of a popular answer that I had once given - before closing my account - on StackExchange : Why do Russians call their women expensive (“дорогая”)?

In Old English "dear" (deore) meant "precious, valuable; costly, expensive; glorious, noble; loved, beloved, regarded with affection". In the 1580s "to endear" was recordedly used with the general meaning "to enhance the value of". Today you may still interpret "to endear (somebody to someone)" as "to make (somebody) valuable (to someone)".

Admittedly this is of limited value a few centuries later, but you and other readers of the question might still consider it interesting.

1
  • 2
    Obviously, if something endears me to you, something makes you valuable to me. However, I doubt that is the OP's idea. Anyway, no samples were given.
    – Lambie
    Jul 17 at 15:27
13

Valorize. The original term is adapted from the French mettre en valeur, but it has made its way into English, mostly in “international” writing (UN, OECD, etc.) where a noble sentiment must be expressed in multiple languages.

Here’s one of multiple dictionary references: https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/valorize

If you read official documents written in Canada, you soon get accustomed to seeing mettre en valeur translated straight across as valorize, and mise en valeur translated as valorization. People who prepare original drafts simultaneously in English and French tend to harmonize them, even if the wording ends up being stilted in one or both languages.

In many cases, strict equivalence in the reading of the translation is more important than literary style.

2
  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – tchrist
    Jul 17 at 17:31
  • The actual validating reference needs to be quoted. CD doesn't license for instance 'Tina's generosity with her time really valorises her.' OP's example sentences have been disappeared, of course. Jul 24 at 14:13
9

This is a good question, I think "Enhance" would be applicable in a lot of situations, though not a lot different to "Enrich".

Interestingly for the opposite action of devaluing something, there is "Abatement".

Though I can find no similar meaning for addition of value.

1
  • Please edit your post to add appropriate evidential support, e.g. dictionary definitions (preferably with links), as we're looking for detailed, authoritative answers rather than unreferenced personal opinion. For further guidance, see How to Answer, or look at the some of the other upvoted answers. :-) Jul 24 at 3:32
9

The OED says it's a US usage, but appreciate should work just fine for you:

  1. Originally U.S. Opposed to depreciate.
    a. transitive. To raise in value.

They even give an example that fits your "[subject] appreciates [object to be made valuable]":

The depreciation of gold, from its increased quantity, will appreciate silver in comparison with it.

4
  • 2
    It doesn't really work just fine since of course appreciate is more generally understood as simply happening, whether in relation to recognizing intrinsic worth or as a result of general inflation. Even your example depends on a market action producing a corresponding action, rather than an agent causing the rise in value. Still, yeah, within certain contexts it'll work.
    – lly
    Jul 16 at 15:23
  • Also orig. US implies that it's since spread more generally, in any case at least as far as Canada. =)
    – lly
    Jul 16 at 15:24
  • 1
    This answer works well if talking about increasing the financial value of a thing.
    – barbecue
    Jul 16 at 20:47
  • 1
    I definitely works, it just sounds quite awkward (since it's usually used differently) and could of course be misunderstood
    – lukeuser
    Jul 17 at 8:50
9

It's a hapax legomenon only attested once and formed by analogy with cheapen, but

worthen

To give worth to; value; make or become worth or worthy; appraise. (via Wiktionary)

7
  • 6
    Why is everyone feeling like such gatekeeping boors today? (a) It's a new editor. Be nicer. (b) They gave a source. If you consider this Wiktionary entry off, take it up with them and if you're right they'll fix it. That's what keeps them reputable. (c) Here is the OED entry, which is occasionally considered a reputable source.
    – lly
    Jul 16 at 15:16
  • 1
    Not all of us have access to paywalled sources. Please include the relevant extracts in the answer. Please.
    – DW256
    Jul 16 at 15:24
  • 2
    It might be obscure, but I think a lot of people would understand the meaning.
    – lukeuser
    Jul 17 at 8:40
  • 2
    It's not commonly used (I've never heard it used in conversation), but the accepted answer had no usages, so it seemed like worthen was at least on that footing. I worked backwards to find it -- I thought "enworthen" might be a word, and when I looked it up this came out as the correction. Jul 18 at 8:40
  • 1
    @metaperture There is and you can find it at the bottom of the main page, but your answer was actually fine.
    – lly
    Jul 18 at 11:52
7

As tchrist (please correct me if I'm mistaken) mentioned in a comment, envalue is a word that, while not recorded in any dictionary, has seen actual use over the last hundred years and more with a meaning close to the one sought.

The general principle is that refinement may both envalue and empower an artifact. (Real Spaces: World Art History and the Rise of Western Modernism; David Summers; Broadfoot Publishing Company, Morningside Bookshop, 1991)

I stated to him that I regarded the war as a sectional one and to envalue principles. (Letter to Hon. J. J. Speed, Atton. Gen'l.; John A Campbell; Southern Historical Society papers; Richmond, Virginia Historical Society, 1878)

Let the judges include the artistry of the mount as part of their duty of selection but dismiss from consideration equipping every juror with a yardstick. Roofing is envalued by the square foot. Pictures are as the artist made them and framed them. He is the creator. The expression is his. (Camera craft; Photographers' Association of California; 1900)

"He was sulking wasnt he Mommy?" the second son asks looking up into her warm wise face envalued with eyelid wrinkles of love and experience. (Prologos; Bayliss, Jonathan; Ashburnham, Mass. : Basilicum Press, 1999)

A number of other items envaluing more than $5,000 could have been cited, but due to short allotment of time to complete the statement, it is believed that the items enumerated herewith will suffice to indicate the condition of the accounts for project No. 16. (Hearings Before the United States. U.S. Congress. Senate. Committee on interstate commerce, 1930)

It's even been used with people,

This strange event is seen therefore as at once the affirmation of Universality (God is All) and of particularity (Jesus is envalued and endorsed as a singular, real, unrepeatable person, and therefore every singular person is envalued). (Meditation & reality : a critical view; Fox, Douglas A., 1927-2008; Atlanta, Ga. : John Knox Press, 1986)

Fifth Columnists activities were publicized to a great exent, and the American people were made to realize the seriousness of a situation which envalued secret agents of foreign nations infestering the sanctity of the American home. (The Pow Wow, Apr. 8, 1948; Tyler Junior College)

However, this word would appear absolutely ridiculous in most of the blanks in question, saving perhaps the first.

Its scarcity envalued the coin.

His insight and experience envalued Old Joe.

Their sensitivity to bad air envalues canaries in coal mines.

Her cooking envlaued Granny.

Granny was envalued by her cooking.

Deeds not words envalue a leader.

In fact, this word exemplifies the issue with all of the words proposed so far - they are absolutely unwarranted in these contexts: using them would be to flaunt idiom and invite ridicule.

The natural choices are the ones in PerformanceDBA's answer.

3
  • Yes, this was the one I had thought of and had mentioned in a chatroom comment to lly. I can't say that I would use it in most extended contexts myself, but it seems possible for the more direct application, perhaps as the antonym to devalue.
    – tchrist
    Jul 18 at 12:37
  • The examples don't show this word consistently being used in the desired sense. In many cases it is simply a synonym for "valued", which has a different meaning. Jul 18 at 23:30
  • @MarkFoskey No matter, they still show that this word has seen more use than many of the others suggested, even if it is with varying senses.
    – DW256
    Jul 19 at 9:22
6

A common verb for this is endow. To be endowed is to be gifted with good attributes, properties, possessions and such. This is related to the noun dowry, which is essentially value added to a bride. In the transitive usage, it tends to require a with-complement though.

1
  • Please edit your post to add appropriate evidential support, e.g. dictionary definitions (preferably with links), as we're looking for detailed, authoritative answers rather than unreferenced personal opinion. For further guidance, see How to Answer, or look at the some of the other upvoted answers. :-) Jul 24 at 3:33
5

exalt

To raise to a higher class, a higher degree of value or excellence; to dignify, ennoble. [According to definition e. of the OED]

1711 R. Steele Spectator No. 4. ⁋8 I shall not lower but exalt the Subjects I treat upon.

I am surprised this hasn't been suggested yet. Seems like it fits perfectly. To exalt someone is to raise them to a higher degree of value.

In fact, dignify and ennoble are also good synonyms given in the definition that could also work--I don't see that these have been suggested yet either.

0

How about furnish?

This might work better in some contexts than in others. It doesn't really mean quite the same thing, more like bringing something into its most complete form, so it requires the furnisher to actually add something to the furnishee in a somewhat less abstract sense that just adding value.

It's also a bit old-fashioned since it's mostly used now to mean provide with furniture!

Some examples

I hope these new recruits will furnish our company.

I intend to save money by buying a bike in poor condition and furnishing it myself.

The work experience will definitely furnish your CV.

Reference

OED (https://www.oed.com/view/Entry/75677?rskey=dYsDI3&result=2&isAdvanced=false#eid):

furnish, v.
...
5.
a. simply. To supply with what is necessary.
b. To decorate, embellish. Obsolete.
...
6. esp. To prepare for work or active service; to equip (a person), caparison, harness (a horse), fit up (a weapon, etc.), fit out (a ship). Obsolete.

1
  • Please edit your post to add appropriate evidential support, e.g. dictionary definitions (preferably with links), as we're looking for detailed, authoritative answers rather than unreferenced personal opinion. For further guidance, see How to Answer, or look at the some of the other upvoted answers. :-) Jul 24 at 3:34
-3
  1. The problem is in your requirements. The word you are seeking is one thing, but the specific usage you have given is really stilted, and English is not stilted. Seeking one English word to fit your grid is not reasonable.

  2. Further, a property (specific value) of a subject is not animate, thus it cannot do anything to the subject that has that property. The thing is valued [by animate subjects] for the property. Your examples are an attempt to bestow animation on properties, which mangles the language.

  3. You want value to be included, but your sentences do not express value only, they express additional senses.

  4. Last, you do not differentiate between a subject that has value, that is increased, and a subject that has no value, wherein value is conferred.

Corrected:

  • The scarcity of the coin caused its value to increase
  • Old Joe was esteemed for his insight and experience
  • Its sensitivity to bad air make canaries in coal mines invaluable
  • Granny was endeared for her cooking
  • Deeds, not words, make a leader.
4
  • 4
    The question's examples which were added and removed are discussed in a meta question. This answer demonstrates that the original question is potentially unanswerable as there are many ways of doing so, depending on the nuance required. In that way, it's a good answer, although it may now need editing a little.
    – Andrew Leach
    Jul 19 at 7:10
  • As evidenced, if the question had not been butchered, there would have been no confusion, no incorrect answers. It would be good if the cause, not the symptom, was addressed. Jul 19 at 18:33
  • 2
    The cause is best addressed by closing the question until the precise meaning required is made clear. But the community seems set against that course of action.
    – Andrew Leach
    Jul 19 at 18:44
  • That is neither the problem, nor the cause. If you honestly wish to address the issue, join us on chat or meta. Jul 19 at 18:53

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.