whit·​en | \ ˈ(h)wī-tᵊn How to pronounce whiten (audio) \
whitened; whitening\ ˈ(h)wīt-​niŋ How to pronounce whiten (audio) , -​ᵊn-​iŋ \

Definition of whiten

transitive verb

: to make white or whiter snow whitened the hills

intransitive verb

: to become white or whiter

Synonyms & Antonyms for whiten



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Examples of whiten in a Sentence

His hair whitened as he aged. Bleach will whiten the linens. The new toothpaste whitens teeth.
Recent Examples on the Web The same earthy clay and charcoal that purify pores can also whiten teeth and degrease roots. Jolene Edgar, Allure, 24 June 2022 The mouthpiece offers dual-light therapy: Its blue LED light claims to whiten teeth and its red LED light claims to support healthy gums. Marielle Marlys, Good Housekeeping, 15 June 2022 The GLO Science formula includes hydrogen peroxide to whiten the teeth and remove stains, while potassium nitrate prevents sensitivity. ELLE, 14 May 2022 In a vivid opening scene, Prioleau details the adult Miriam’s arduous toilette, and her reliance on pearl powder to whiten her skin. New York Times, 29 Mar. 2022 These products do not have the ability to whiten the skin. CNN, 25 Jan. 2022 Plus, it's paired with the Waterpik Sonic Electric Toothbrush, which uses sonic vibrations with 31,000 strokes per minute and features three modes (clean, whiten, and massage) to remove nine times as many stains as a regular toothbrush. Claire Harmeyer, PEOPLE.com, 24 Nov. 2021 The Waterpik Sonic Toothbrush polishes teeth while massaging gums to whiten and prevent gingivitis. Chloe Irving, Health.com, 24 Nov. 2021 As the front pushes offshore, cold air arrives and may bring some snow showers that can whiten the ground across the higher elevations of Worcester County, the Berkshires, and certainly the hills of Northern New England. Dave Epstein, BostonGlobe.com, 24 Nov. 2021 See More

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

First Known Use of whiten

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

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Time Traveler for whiten

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The first known use of whiten was in the 15th century

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Dictionary Entries Near whiten

white mustard


white nationalist

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Statistics for whiten

Last Updated

28 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Whiten.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/whiten. Accessed 7 Jul. 2022.

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More Definitions for whiten


whit·​en | \ ˈhwī-tᵊn How to pronounce whiten (audio) , ˈwī- \
whitened; whitening

Kids Definition of whiten

: to make or become white or whiter Bleach whitens sheets.

More from Merriam-Webster on whiten

Nglish: Translation of whiten for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of whiten for Arabic Speakers


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