bright·​en | \ ˈbrī-tᵊn How to pronounce brighten (audio) \
brightened; brightening\ ˈbrīt-​niŋ How to pronounce brighten (audio) , ˈbrī-​tᵊn-​iŋ \

Definition of brighten

transitive verb

1 : to make bright or brighter you brightened my day
2 : to enhance or intensify the flavor of (food) especially by adding an acidic element (such as citrus juice or vinegar) Crisp lemon slices brighten smoky bacon and rosemary-infused trout.— Melissa Roberts-Matar

Other Words from brighten

brightener \ ˈbrīt-​nər How to pronounce brighten (audio) , ˈbrī-​tᵊn-​ər \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for brighten



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Examples of brighten in a Sentence

He brightened the picture on the television. Flowers can brighten any room. The good news brightened her mood. The sky brightened after the storm. Business prospects brightened last month. Her face brightened in relief when she heard that he was not hurt.
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Recent Examples on the Web Shorter days and longer nights mean it’s time to brighten up your meals with seasonal citrus. Sunset Magazine, 10 Jan. 2022 After the dance presentation, attendees could depart along Green Bay Trail to brighten the trail with light and to celebrate the promise of longer days. Karie Angell Luc,, 23 Dec. 2021 Incorporate periwinkle through furniture, accessories, and paint colors to brighten rooms with a burst of energy. Jessica Bennett, Better Homes & Gardens, 15 Dec. 2021 Edison daylight bulb with this gray-green color to mimic nature and brighten any space with organic liveliness. Regina Cole, Forbes, 27 Sep. 2021 Today, 'Olive Sprig'—a highly adaptable grey-green color, will entice you to brighten your environment with organic liveliness. Medgina Saint-elien, House Beautiful, 25 Aug. 2021 Or simply brighten someone’s day with a bouquet of flowers from Olivee Floral. Akili King, Vogue, 24 Feb. 2021 The light campaign would be a simple way people could show support and brighten the spirits of health care workers, Caldwell explained. Megan Marples, CNN, 6 Jan. 2022 Peptide 21 Collection, this Peter Thomas Roth eye cream is designed to reduce the look of fine lines and brighten the area for a youthful appearance—a thoughtful addition to anyone’s anti-aging skin-care regimen. Kiana Murden, Vogue, 6 Jan. 2022

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'brighten.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of brighten

14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

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Time Traveler for brighten

Time Traveler

The first known use of brighten was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near brighten

bright emerald green



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Statistics for brighten

Last Updated

21 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Brighten.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for brighten



English Language Learners Definition of brighten

: to add more light to (something)
: to make (something) more colorful or cheerful
: to become brighter or more cheerful


bright·​en | \ ˈbrī-tᵊn How to pronounce brighten (audio) \
brightened; brightening

Kids Definition of brighten

1 : to add more light to Candlelight brightened the room.
2 : to make or become cheerful You brightened my day.

More from Merriam-Webster on brighten

Nglish: Translation of brighten for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of brighten for Arabic Speakers


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