Dictionary

1lighten

verb light·en \ˈlī-tən\
light·enedlight·en·ing \ˈlīt-niŋ, ˈlī-tən-iŋ\

Definition of LIGHTEN

transitive verb
1
:  to make light or clear :  illuminate
2
archaic :  enlighten
3
:  to make (as a color) lighter
intransitive verb
1
a archaic :  to shine brightly
b :  to grow lighter :  brighten
2
:  to give out flashes of lightning
light·en·er \ˈlīt-nər, ˈlī-tən-ər\ noun

Origin of LIGHTEN

Middle English lightenen, from light
First Known Use: 14th century

2lighten

verb
light·enedlight·en·ing \ˈlīt-niŋ, ˈlī-tən-iŋ\

Definition of LIGHTEN

transitive verb
1
a :  to relieve of a burden in whole or in part <the news lightened his mind>
b :  to reduce in weight or quantity :  lessen
c :  to make less wearisome :  alleviate <lighten our sorrow>
2
:  cheer, gladden
intransitive verb
1
:  to become lighter or less burdensome
2
:  to become more cheerful
light·en·er \ˈlīt-nər, ˈlī-tən-ər\ noun

First Known Use of LIGHTEN

14th century

Synonym Discussion of LIGHTEN

relieve, alleviate, lighten, assuage, mitigate, allay mean to make something less grievous. relieve implies a lifting of enough of a burden to make it tolerable <took an aspirin to relieve the pain>. alleviate implies temporary or partial lessening of pain or distress <the lotion alleviated the itching>. lighten implies reducing a burdensome or depressing weight <good news would lighten our worries>. assuage implies softening or sweetening what is harsh or disagreeable <ocean breezes assuaged the intense heat>. mitigate suggests a moderating or countering of the effect of something violent or painful <the need to mitigate barbaric laws>. allay implies an effective calming or soothing of fears or alarms <allayed their fears>.
LIGHTENER Defined for Kids

1lighten

verb light·en \ˈlī-tən\
light·enedlight·en·ing

Definition of LIGHTEN for Kids

:  to make or become lighter, brighter, or clearer
light·en·er noun

2lighten

verb
lightenedlightening

Definition of LIGHTEN for Kids

1
:  to make or become less heavy
2
:  to make less sad or serious <A joke lightened the mood.>
light·en·er noun

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Next Word in the Dictionary: light enginePrevious Word in the Dictionary: light–emitting diodeAll Words Near: lighten
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