sweet·en | \ ˈswē-tᵊn \
sweetened; sweetening\ˈswēt-niŋ, 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

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Other words from sweeten

sweetener \ˈswēt-nər, ˈswē-tᵊn-ər \ noun

Synonyms for sweeten


candy, dress up, enhance

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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

Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookies Makes about 25 cookies Free of refined sugar, these cookies are sweetened with Just Date Syrup and get a little extra texture and sweetness from juicy Medjool dates. Tara Duggan, SFChronicle.com, "Recipe: Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookies," 20 June 2018 That’s right: the shakerato has sweetened condensed milk in it; trust me and just surrender to that right now. Carla Lalli Music, Bon Appetit, "If You're Not Here for Iced Coffee Shakerato Season, What Are You Here For?," 25 May 2018 Broadcom is sweetening its offer to acquire Qualcomm for more than $121 billion. Mike Snider, USA TODAY, "Broadcom's higher bid for Qualcomm would put one chip company in many smartphones," 5 Feb. 2018 There are a few moderately steep pitches, but that only sweetens the deal. Roger Naylor, azcentral, "10 best hikes in Arizona show off state's diverse scenery," 13 July 2018 Fox late Wednesday acknowledged that bid, but didn't immediately sweeten its own offer. Georg Szalai, The Hollywood Reporter, "U.K. Clears Fox's Sky Bid," 12 July 2018 Barely sweetened whipped cream holds the whole thing together. Jeanmarie Brownson, chicagotribune.com, "When Eton mess gives you extra yolks, whip them up into ice cream," 10 July 2018 For thousands of years, the root sap was boiled, strained and sweetened to cure sore throats or simply be eaten as a treat. Jeffrey Miller, Smithsonian, "Let Us Tell You S’more About America’s Favorite Campfire Treat," 29 June 2018 Teams interested — which so far have included at minimum the Lakers, L.A. Clippers, Boston, Philadelphia and Cleveland — could use draft picks as a means of sweetening any offer. Jeff Mcdonald, San Antonio Express-News, "With Leonard in limbo, Spurs may face franchise-shaping draft night," 20 June 2018

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.

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First Known Use of sweeten

circa 1552, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

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Phrases Related to sweeten

sugar/sweeten the pill

sweeten up

Statistics for sweeten

Last Updated

19 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for sweeten

The first known use of sweeten was circa 1552

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More Definitions for sweeten



English Language Learners Definition of sweeten

: to make (something) sweet or sweeter in taste

: to make (something) more valuable or attractive


sweet·en | \ ˈswē-tᵊn \
sweetened; sweetening

Kids Definition of sweeten

: to make or become sweet or sweeter

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Comments on sweeten

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


occurring twice a year or every two years

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