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 Sunscreen: available at Violet GreyThis two-in-one mix of SPF 40 and vitamin C serum can brighten your skin, while protecting it from UV rays and blue light. Anjana Rajbhandary,, 3 Apr. 2021 Touches of the alloy around your home, like a brass candleholder, can brighten your rooms. Paige Stables, Allure, 26 Mar. 2021 Come morning, the screen can brighten gently to mimic a sunrise while the alarm is gently turned up. David Phelan, Forbes, 16 Mar. 2021 This new member of the House of Windsor should brighten up the mood around Windsor Castle, where Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip have been staying in recent months. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, 9 Feb. 2021 The citrusy bitters brighten the spicy rye, and the vermouth keeps everything balanced. Jenn Harris Columnist, Los Angeles Times, 11 July 2021 Losing one of their favorite guys would brighten their outlooks not at all. Gordon Monson, The Salt Lake Tribune, 5 July 2021 Unexpected meetings can brighten your day, as a passing stranger could have a delightful story to tell. Tribune Content Agency, oregonlive, 30 June 2021 Skies brighten today, but showers and T-storms linger into Thursday as a blocking pattern forces an upper air storm to stall out over the Upper Midwest. Star Tribune, 26 June 2021

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

1 Aug 2021

Cite this Entry

“Brighten.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Aug. 2021.

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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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