wid·​en | \ ˈwī-dᵊn How to pronounce widen (audio) \
widened; widening\ ˈwīd-​niŋ How to pronounce widen (audio) , ˈwī-​dᵊn-​iŋ \

Definition of widen

transitive verb

: to increase the width, scope, or extent of widen a road widen an investigation

intransitive verb

: to become wide or wider a widening gap

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Other Words from widen

widener \ ˈwīd-​nər How to pronounce widen (audio) , ˈwī-​dᵊn-​ər \ noun

Examples of widen in a Sentence

The city is going to widen the road. They plan to widen the investigation. Her eyes widened in surprise. They went swimming at a spot where the river widens. The scope of the investigation has widened.
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Recent Examples on the Web If there’s any way to widen your network, that’s a great place to start, Merrilees said. Chronicle Advice Team, San Francisco Chronicle, "My father has dementia. How do I keep him engaged and safe during the pandemic?," 4 Feb. 2021 Spherical lenses have both vertical and horizontal curvatures that help widen your view and also minimizes blind spots. Eric Alt, Popular Science, "Best ski goggles: What to look for in a pair you’ll love," 20 Jan. 2021 In 2010, as part of an initiative to widen cognitive studies, Matsuzawa's team won $10 million in funding from the Ministry of Education to construct two large cages at each facility to supplement existing outdoor compounds. Ann Gibbons, Science | AAAS, "Famed primatologist fired for mismanagement of funds for chimp habitat," 1 Dec. 2020 Trump went from winning Pennsylvania by seven-tenths of a point in 2016 to losing it by seven-tenths of a point — a margin that could widen as votes continue to be tallied — in 2020. Craig Gilbert, USA TODAY, "Joe Biden flipped the 'blue wall' states of Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, but work still needs to be done," 10 Nov. 2020 Jeter then raced to the end zone to give Michigan its first lead, which would widen over a night when Barrett kept resurfacing on the stat sheet. Rainer Sabin, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan football's Michael Barrett did almost everything in opener; 'felt like a dream'," 25 Oct. 2020 The work is part of a project to widen the Gulf Freeway and route Holland Road underneath the Interstate 45 main lanes. Jay R. Jordan, Chron, "3 Houston highways closures this weekend," 5 Feb. 2021 June may bring opportunities to be more practical with money and a chance to widen your sphere of influence. Tribune Content Agency, oregonlive, "Horoscope for Jan. 5, 2021: Leo, work diligently, get results; Libra, pull out all the stops to impress," 5 Jan. 2021 And the Saints afforded themselves the ability to widen the aperture a little bit now and peek at the wider picture. Luke Johnson, NOLA.com, "Saints clinch 4th straight NFC South title, and you know what? 'Winning never gets old'," 25 Dec. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'widen.' 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 widen

1566, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

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Statistics for widen

Last Updated

2 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Widen.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/widen. Accessed 8 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for widen



English Language Learners Definition of widen

: to make (something) wide or wider
: to become wide or wider


wid·​en | \ ˈwī-dᵊn How to pronounce widen (audio) \
widened; widening

Kids Definition of widen

: to make or become wide or wider The road is being widened.

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More from Merriam-Webster on widen

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for widen

Nglish: Translation of widen for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of widen for Arabic Speakers

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