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

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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 Engage in activities today that brighten up your environment and bring more comfort into your life. Tarot Astrologers,, "Daily horoscope for December 30, 2020," 30 Dec. 2020 The girls created 30 unique cards and gift bags with some small treats to brighten their day, then delivered them to the staff at The Oaks of Brecksville for delivery to the residents. Shirley Macfarland, cleveland, "Young girls make a big impact in their communities: Talk of the Towns," 24 Dec. 2020 This mist is formulated with Hyaluronic Acid and kiwi fruit water that help brighten and hydrate the skin. Samantha Driscoll, Better Homes & Gardens, "5 Face Mists To Keep Your Skin Hydrated All Winter Long," 15 Dec. 2020 With over 13,000 reviews and a nearly 5-star rating, these masks aim to do everything from smooth to brighten and hydrate your skin. Cnn Underscored Staff, CNN Underscored, "These 5-star Amazon products make for the perfect holiday gifts," 8 Dec. 2020 Put yellow and gray wallpaper in a laundry room, make the underbelly of the sink yellow and paint the trim gray to brighten the laundry chore. Kerri Westenberg Star Tribune, Star Tribune, "Tips for decorating your home with Pantone's Colors of the Year," 18 Dec. 2020 Ceramides, squalene and botanicals (caviar lime, schisandra fruit, illipe butter) help firm, soften and brighten skin, and the no-fuss, gelato-like texture leaves you with a dewy, ungreasy finish. Kari Molvar, WSJ, "We Tested 50 Face Moisturizers to Find the Best," 16 Dec. 2020 Big Brassy Christmas and Organ Extravaganza – On Dec. 15, this DSO tradition returned to brighten the holidays with the DSO brass and percussion sections and the magnificent Lay Family Concert Organ. Scott Cantrell, Dallas News, "The Dallas Symphony Orchestra uses the spirit of celebration to resume beloved musical traditions," 16 Dec. 2020 Add the the yellow blooms to a vase to instantly brighten your home. Isabel Garcia, House Beautiful, "1-800-Flowers Unveils Its 2021 Flower and Plants of the Year," 15 Dec. 2020

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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Statistics for brighten

Last Updated

9 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Brighten.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for brighten


How to pronounce brighten (audio)

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.

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Comments on brighten

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