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 Congress’s nonpartisan scorekeeper found that the infrastructure bill would widen the federal budget deficit by $256 billion over 10 years, countering proponents’ claims that the price tag would be covered by new revenue and saving measures. WSJ, 30 Sep. 2021 Bridge experts also have determined how to rebuild and widen the American Legion Bridge in a way that would cause less damage to National Park Service land on both sides of the Potomac River below, the report said. Washington Post, 30 Sep. 2021 Work is also virtually complete on this $120 million project to reconstruct and widen I-71 south of downtown Columbus. Jeremy Pelzer, cleveland, 28 Sep. 2021 How spinal cord compression is treated: Options for treatment include taking anti-inflammatory drugs, physical therapy, and surgical procedures that may widen the space between vertebrae, reports Johns Hopkins Medicine. Sarah Fielding, Health.com, 20 Sep. 2021 Changes that widen the funnel of small business participation in federal procurement would enjoy widespread support. Dane Stangler, Forbes, 17 Sep. 2021 But some climate groups are faulting his administration for including major new funding to build and widen highways in the measure. BostonGlobe.com, 5 Sep. 2021 Early October is a good time to take a vacation with friends or widen your social contacts. Tribune Content Agency, oregonlive, 11 Aug. 2021 There are some classic choices — Irish Guinness, Australian marmite — and some that require time in the kitchen, such as a pitcher of Spanish sangria and a plate of French macarons — but a little extra effort can widen the options considerably. Cathy Jakicic, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 21 July 2021

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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Dictionary Entries Near widen



wide of the mark

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Statistics for widen

Last Updated

4 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Widen.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/widen. Accessed 28 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for widen



English Language Learners Definition of widen

: to make (something) wide or wider : broaden
: 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.

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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