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

Definition of sweeten

transitive verb

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

intransitive verb

: to become sweet

Other Words from sweeten

sweetener \ ˈswēt-​nər How to pronounce sweeten (audio) , ˈswē-​tᵊn-​ər \ noun

Synonyms for sweeten


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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 To sweeten the deal, filling out the survey gives you an opportunity to receive a $100 gift card to Takashi. The Salt Lake Tribune, 11 May 2022 Just whisk a tablespoon into hot water or the milk of your choice and sweeten to taste—or add it to smoothies, oatmeal, or ice cream. Bon Appétit, 26 Apr. 2022 Cook, stirring constantly, to sweeten the paste with the onion, about 2 minutes. CNN, 1 Feb. 2022 New Jersey allocated $15 million for upgrades to sweeten the state’s bid to host the 2026 World Cup. Brian Slodysko, sun-sentinel.com, 25 Mar. 2022 But the Browns didn’t sweeten the deal at the last minute, sources said. cleveland, 23 Mar. 2022 New Jersey allocated $15 million for upgrades to sweeten the state’s bid to host the 2026 World Cup. Brian Slodysko, Anchorage Daily News, 23 Mar. 2022 Democrats and their allies control 50 votes, so Mr. Cardin is seeking to sweeten the stimulus bill with provisions that can draw the support of 10 Republicans. Brody Mullins, WSJ, 16 Jan. 2022 Any further wins in the next three weeks would only sweeten what has become a successful first season for Woodson in Bloomington. Zach Osterman, The Indianapolis Star, 13 Mar. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sweeten.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of sweeten

circa 1552, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

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Time Traveler for sweeten

Time Traveler

The first known use of sweeten was circa 1552

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Dictionary Entries Near sweeten

sweet elm



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Statistics for sweeten

Last Updated

16 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Sweeten.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sweeten. Accessed 26 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for sweeten


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

Kids Definition of sweeten

: to make or become sweet or sweeter

More from Merriam-Webster on sweeten

Nglish: Translation of sweeten for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sweeten for Arabic Speakers


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