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

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.
Recent Examples on the Web Meanwhile, the hormone relaxin loosens muscle ligaments to prepare for childbirth, which can also cause feet to spread and widen. Washington Post, 27 Apr. 2022 Doing this allows employees to eventually widen their roles, take on more responsibilities, get updated on the latest trends in the market and witness self-growth. Expert Panel®, Forbes, 27 Apr. 2022 This shows Tilray is making inroads with its wellness products, which also could help widen its distribution channels. Tiffany Kary, Bloomberg.com, 6 Apr. 2022 Men and women start more or less on an even footing but wage disparities widen over time, according to economists who study gender compensation. Aaron Gregg And Jacob Bogage, Anchorage Daily News, 29 Mar. 2022 But the Ukrainians face an uphill battle even as the United States and its allies accelerate and widen a flow of critical weapons and supplies, including anti-aircraft missiles and armed drones. Robert Burns, ajc, 25 Mar. 2022 During his 18-minute speech from Kyiv, Zelenskyy called on the U.S. to impose a no-fly zone over his country, send more military hardware and widen the sanctions against Russia. Ronald J. Hansen, The Arizona Republic, 16 Mar. 2022 Zelensky also asked the U.S. to sanction every Russian politician and widen the economic dragnet. Robin Wright, The New Yorker, 16 Mar. 2022 In addressing the area once known as the Soviet Union, Western interpreters should reject the Kremlin’s self-serving lens and widen the aperture to encompass Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova and other nations with distinct histories and aspirations. Suzanne Nossel, WSJ, 10 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of widen

1566, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

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Dictionary Entries Near widen



wide of the mark

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Statistics for widen

Last Updated

13 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Widen.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/widen. Accessed 18 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for widen


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.

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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