bright·​en | \ ˈbrī-tᵊn How to pronounce brighten (audio) \
brightened; brightening\ ˈbrīt-​niŋ How to pronounce brightening (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 brightener (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 Additional ingredients like CoQ10, alpha-lipoic acid, vitamin C and organic plant extracts help brighten skin. oregonlive, "Preparing to be seen in public again? Show off these stylish face masks and appearance enhancers," 14 May 2020 If Mom has been spending more time at home like most of us, help brighten up her space with a fresh, new aroma. Mary Grace Metheny, Dallas News, "Put local treasures on your Mother’s Day gift list," 1 May 2020 This shows that niacinamide has the potential of brightening skin better than the same moisturizer without it. Danusia Wnek, Good Housekeeping, "Everything You Need to Know About Niacinamide, According to Skincare Pros," 28 Apr. 2020 The bright yellow foliage of this large perennial is perfect for brightening up a spot in a shade garden. Paul Cappiello, The Courier-Journal, "A life-long love for 'weird' plants means our columnist is extra excited about 'Sun King'," 17 Apr. 2020 Anchorage residents have dropped off cloth face masks for frontline workers, and florists are donating flowers to brighten up the mass shelters. Paula Dobbyn, Anchorage Daily News, "Donors asked to contribute $500,000 to feed children and families in Anchorage," 9 Apr. 2020 And to help brighten up these difficult days, some singers are sharing at-home concerts on social media. Caitlin O'kane, CBS News, "Some schools will remain closed for the rest of the school year. Here's what to expect if it happens in your district," 18 Mar. 2020 But the free delivery ends soon, so brighten up your home and shop the new collection below. Isabel Garcia, House Beautiful, "Anthropologie’s Spring 2020 Collection Has Something for Everyone," 7 Feb. 2020 No Bad Days Set This skincare set includes a refining peel gel, a hydrating essence mist, a brightening eye cream and a daily moisturizing cream. NBC News, "Last minute Mother's Day gifts that will arrive on time," 5 May 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

22 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Brighten.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Jun. 2020.

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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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