widen

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

The slowdown has raised the specter that a widening trade war between the United States and China is causing U.S. companies to grow more cautious about committing resources to expand and modernize their operations. Martin Crutsinger, The Seattle Times, "US durable goods orders fall 4.4 percent in October," 21 Nov. 2018 Specifically, Western participants expected widened eyes and gaping mouths, while East Asian participant’s ideas culminated in a slight, tight-lipped smile. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "How orgasm faces differ between people from Eastern and Western cultures," 9 Oct. 2018 Fears of a widening trade war with China seem to have triggered the early declines. Evan Horowitz, BostonGlobe.com, "Volatile stocks hint at a crisis of faith among investors," 4 Apr. 2018 Previously, Microsoft appeared poised to widen the reach of its gaming ecosystem, connecting games on iOS, Android, and even the Nintendo Switch to its Xbox Live multiplayer platform. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Microsoft ports Xbox Live to Android, iOS to extend the reach of Xbox," 14 Mar. 2019 Since Republicans are only set to widen their majority in 2019, this fixation on judicial nominees isn’t expected to fade anytime soon. Li Zhou, Vox, "Trump has gotten 66 judges confirmed this year. In his second year, Obama had gotten 49.," 27 Dec. 2018 For his part, Dorsey is trying to widen his own feedback loop. Kurt Wagner, Recode, "Twitter is so liberal that its conservative employees ‘don’t feel safe to express their opinions,’ says CEO Jack Dorsey," 14 Sep. 2018 The result is more sparse and separated than the lush lashes often seen Stateside, but the Korean trend still gives eyes a widening effect. Devon Abelman, Allure, "These Are the Biggest Makeup Trends in South Korea in 2019," 8 May 2019 Guests at the opening event gathered to peruse the book and shop the Cabana collection, another developing genre under its widening umbrella. Lilah Ramzi, Vogue, "Catching Up With Cabana: The Treasured Magazine Releases an Anthology and Debuts a Pop-Up Shop," 14 Sep. 2018

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

12 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for widen

The first known use of widen was in 1566

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More Definitions for widen

widen

verb

English Language Learners Definition of widen

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

widen

verb
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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with widen

Spanish Central: Translation of widen

Nglish: Translation of widen for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of widen for Arabic Speakers

Comments on widen

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