whiten

verb
whit·​en | \ ˈhwī-tᵊn How to pronounce whiten (audio) , ˈwī-\
whitened; whitening\ ˈhwīt-​niŋ How to pronounce whitening (audio) , ˈwīt-​ , -​ᵊn-​iŋ \

Definition of whiten

transitive verb

: to make white or whiter snow whitened the hills

intransitive verb

: to become white or whiter

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Synonyms & Antonyms for whiten

Synonyms

blanch, bleach, blench, decolorize, dull, fade, pale, snow, wash out

Antonyms

darken, deepen, embrown

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

All the White Moves The biggest smile booster, bar none, is whitening. Abbie Kozolchyk, Good Housekeeping, "Best Tips and Tools to Whiten Your Smile," 7 Jan. 2011 Baking soda's whitening properties will help restore it to its original state. Audrey Bruno, SELF, "11 Surprising Ways to Use Your Baking Soda," 6 Mar. 2019 Find out the best products to use for whitening teeth: The skin surrounding your mouth and teeth is as much an element of a youthful smile as your teeth themselves. Abbie Kozolchyk, Good Housekeeping, "Best Tips and Tools to Whiten Your Smile," 7 Jan. 2011 Factor in a few other unlikely moisture-sappers—Fusco says whitening toothpastes and long-last lipsticks also contribute to dryness—and old-school salves simply might not cut it. Jenna Rennert, Vogue, "How to Cure Your Chapped Lips This Winter," 31 Jan. 2019 But Crest in recent years didn’t focus on toothpaste with health benefits and instead rolled out new technology around whitening, the spokesman said. Sharon Terlep, WSJ, "Brushers Are Buying Sensodyne’s Pitch," 22 Aug. 2018 Likewise, the second movement was most commanding when most tranquil, with Moser whitening color and relaxing tone. Alan Artner, chicagotribune.com, "In the heat, Moser, Grant Park Orchestra perform a delicate Dvorak," 30 June 2018 So what’s the difference between removing surface stains and whitening? Alexandra Tunell, Harper's BAZAAR, "Is Charcoal Toothpaste Safe to Use?," 9 Aug. 2017 On Monday, Tom’s of Maine antiplaque and whitening toothpaste, which is fluoride-free, was listed as the second-best selling toothpaste on Amazon’s online buying platform. Jeff Donn, The Seattle Times, "Experts question benefits of fluoride-free toothpaste," 7 Aug. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of whiten

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

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Statistics for whiten

Last Updated

21 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for whiten

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

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More Definitions for whiten

whiten

verb

English Language Learners Definition of whiten

: to make (something) white or whiter or to become white or whiter

whiten

verb
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.

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More from Merriam-Webster on whiten

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with whiten

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for whiten

Spanish Central: Translation of whiten

Nglish: Translation of whiten for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of whiten for Arabic Speakers

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