lighten

verb (1)
light·​en | \ ˈlī-tᵊn How to pronounce lighten (audio) \
lightened; lightening\ ˈlīt-​niŋ How to pronounce lighten (audio) , ˈlī-​tᵊn-​iŋ \

Definition of lighten

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to make light or clear : illuminate
2 archaic : enlighten
3 : to make (something, such as a color) lighter

intransitive verb

1a archaic : to shine brightly
b : to grow lighter : brighten
2 : to give out flashes of lightning

lighten

verb (2)
lightened; lightening\ ˈlīt-​niŋ How to pronounce lighten (audio) , ˈlī-​tᵊn-​iŋ \

Definition of lighten (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to relieve of a burden in whole or in part the news lightened his mind
b : to reduce in weight or quantity : lessen
c : to make less wearisome : alleviate lighten our sorrow

intransitive verb

1 : to become lighter or less burdensome
2 : to become more cheerful

Choose the Right Synonym for lighten

Verb (2)

relieve, alleviate, lighten, assuage, mitigate, allay mean to make something less grievous. relieve implies a lifting of enough of a burden to make it tolerable. took an aspirin to relieve the pain alleviate implies temporary or partial lessening of pain or distress. the lotion alleviated the itching lighten implies reducing a burdensome or depressing weight. good news would lighten our worries assuage implies softening or sweetening what is harsh or disagreeable. ocean breezes assuaged the intense heat mitigate suggests a moderating or countering of the effect of something violent or painful. the need to mitigate barbaric laws allay implies an effective calming or soothing of fears or alarms. allayed their fears

First Known Use of lighten

Verb (1)

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Verb (2)

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for lighten

Verb (1)

Middle English lightenen, from light

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Time Traveler for lighten

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for lighten

Cite this Entry

“Lighten.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lighten. Accessed 17 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for lighten

lighten

verb
light·​en | \ ˈlī-tᵊn How to pronounce lighten (audio) \
lightened; lightening

Kids Definition of lighten

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to make or become lighter, brighter, or clearer

Other Words from lighten

lightener noun

lighten

verb
lightened; lightening

Kids Definition of lighten (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to make or become less heavy
2 : to make less sad or serious A joke lightened the mood.

Other Words from lighten

lightener noun

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