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

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Other Words from sweeten

sweetener \ ˈswēt-​nər How to pronounce sweetener (audio) , 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

The bill also would have required that, in stores and fast-food restaurants, warning labels be placed on the exterior of any self-service beverage dispensing machine used by a consumer to dispense a sugar-sweetened beverage. Patrick Mcgreevy, latimes.com, "California bill requiring warning labels on sodas, sugary drinks is shelved," 2 July 2019 The report suggests that Arsenal will return with another bid and may offer at least one player in exchange to sweeten the deal. SI.com, "Crystal Palace Incensed by Arsenal Offer for Wilfried Zaha as Proposed Payment Structure Is Revealed," 2 July 2019 Emboldened by those odds, the Nets are reportedly looking into signing DeAndre Jordan — another Durant confidant — to sweeten the deal. Connor Letourneau, SFChronicle.com, "Kevin Durant’s free agency: An in-depth breakdown of the superstar’s options," 26 June 2019 As if to sweeten that change to the series, Nintendo announced earlier this month that SMM2 is officially the first side-scrolling Super Mario game to support online-multiplayer action in any capacity. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Super Mario Maker 2’s online mode will get a “friends” patch after launch [Updated]," 12 June 2019 Stay conscious of added sugar, which is often used to add flavor to low or nonfat dairy products (e.g., flavored milk, sweetened yogurt, and lower-sodium cheese). Jaclyn London, Ms, Rd, Cdn, Good Housekeeping, "How Much Sodium You Can Eat Every Day, According to a Nutritionist," 8 Apr. 2019 Berkeley, San Francisco, and other California cities that already tax soda and sweetened beverages can keep their taxes under the new law passed at the end of June, according to The Los Angeles Times. Laura Mccrystal, Philly.com, "California banned new soda taxes. Could it happen in Pennsylvania?," 12 July 2018 Most ice-storing cultures also enjoyed chilled, often sweetened beverages. Linda Rodriguez Mcrobbie, BostonGlobe.com, "How ice cream made America," 30 June 2018 To sweeten the deal, some franchises are expected to not add injury protections to the final two years of a contract. Connor Letourneau, SFChronicle.com, "Warriors’ offseason primer: A look at key questions, free-agency decisions," 15 June 2019

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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Statistics for sweeten

Last Updated

11 Jul 2019

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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 How to pronounce sweeten (audio) \
sweetened; sweetening

Kids Definition of sweeten

: to make or become sweet or sweeter

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More from Merriam-Webster on sweeten

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sweeten

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sweeten

Spanish Central: Translation of sweeten

Nglish: Translation of sweeten for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sweeten for Arabic Speakers

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).


appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

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