sweet·​en ˈswē-tᵊn How to pronounce sweeten (audio)
sweetened; sweetening ˈswēt-niŋ How to pronounce sweeten (audio)

transitive verb

: to make sweet
: to soften the mood or attitude of
: to make less painful or trying
: to free from a harmful or undesirable quality or substance
especially : to remove sulfur compounds from
sweeten natural gas
: to make more valuable or attractive
sweeten the deal
: such as
: to increase (a pot not won on the previous deal) by anteing prior to another deal
: to place additional securities as collateral for (a loan)

intransitive verb

: to become sweet
ˈswēt-nər How to pronounce sweeten (audio)

Examples of sweeten in a Sentence

He sweetened his cereal a little. He sweetened the deal with a large signing bonus.
Recent Examples on the Web That breakthrough came after Skydance worked to sweeten the deal and give nonvoting shareholders the ability to exit the company at a slight premium. Meg James, Los Angeles Times, 11 June 2024 And there’s talk that the UConn contract will soon be sweetened again, with one report that a six-year, $50 million deal is on the table. Jim Alexander, Orange County Register, 10 June 2024 The course also has ice cream flights to sweeten your visit. Tanya Wildt, Detroit Free Press, 28 May 2024 Cream of coconut is coconut cream that’s been sweetened and processed into a thick, syrup-like consistency. Robin Miller, The Arizona Republic, 24 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for sweeten 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'sweeten.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

circa 1552, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of sweeten was circa 1552

Dictionary Entries Near sweeten

Cite this Entry

“Sweeten.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sweeten. Accessed 25 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition


sweet·​en ˈswēt-ᵊn How to pronounce sweeten (audio)
sweetened; sweetening ˈswēt-niŋ How to pronounce sweeten (audio)
: to make or become sweet
ˈswēt-nər How to pronounce sweeten (audio)

More from Merriam-Webster on sweeten

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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