brighten

verb
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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from brighten

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

Synonyms & Antonyms for brighten

Synonyms

buck up, cheer (up), lighten, look up, perk (up)

Antonyms

darken, sadden

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

The fall-off in manufacturing activity in April follows a strong showing in March that, along with an uptick in home sales, buoyed growth in the first quarter and brightened the outlook for the Chinese economy. WSJ, "China’s Manufacturing Activity Falters," 30 Apr. 2019 In the days that followed, thousands of bouquets of flowers filled public spaces in this city, brightening the darkest of moments. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Prince William Gave a Moving Speech at Christchurch's Al Noor Mosque. Here's the Full Transcript.," 26 Apr. 2019 To do so, use a nail buffer like Deborah Lippmann’s Smooth Operator 4-Way Nail Buffer on the surface of your nails in gentle circular motions to smooth and brighten beds. Emily Rekstis, Glamour, "10 Things You Can Do Now to Get Stronger, Healthier Nails ASAP," 20 Apr. 2019 The same can be said for my dark eye circles—the primer helps dull them and brightens up my undereye area. Tara Gonzalez, Glamour, "Tatcha’s The Silk Canvas Makeup Primer Makes My Skin Look Airbrushed," 27 Mar. 2019 An elaborate display of pink and green blooms (with feathers plopped throughout) lined the entirety of the center of the table, brightening the moody room. Michaela Bechler, Vogue, "The Attico Hosts a Feather-Filled Dinner in New York," 8 Feb. 2019 Getty Images Uncle Joe is here to brighten up the dark storm cloud hanging over your Sunday afternoon. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Joe Biden Adopts Adorable Shelter Dog," 18 Nov. 2018 Often, experts recommend going two shades lighter than your skin tone with your concealer to brighten up a dark under eye area. Jessica Cruel, SELF, "11 Concealers You Can Wear Without Foundation," 27 July 2018 This Celery and Apple Salad takes advantage of winter’s bounty of apples to brighten up your table with a sweet and salty vinaigrette and the crunch of fresh celery. Emily Spicer, San Antonio Express-News, "Celery and Apple Salad brightens your winter table," 10 Jan. 2018

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.

See More

First Known Use of brighten

14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about brighten

Statistics for brighten

Last Updated

9 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for brighten

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for brighten

brighten

verb

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

brighten

verb
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.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on brighten

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with brighten

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for brighten

Spanish Central: Translation of brighten

Nglish: Translation of brighten for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of brighten for Arabic Speakers

Comments on brighten

What made you want to look up brighten? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a sum of money that is sent as a payment

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Time Traveler Quiz: Which Word Came First?

  • time traveler quiz which word came first
  • Which came first?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!