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[brahyt-n] /ˈbraɪt n/
verb (used without object), verb (used with object)
to become or make bright or brighter.
Origin of brighten
1250-1300; Middle English brightnen. See bright, -en1
Related forms
rebrighten, verb
unbrightened, adjective
lighten; cheer, gladden, lift, hearten, perk up.
darken; deject, sadden. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for brighten
  • Their eyes began to sparkle, and their ugly faces to brighten, with an expression of strange pleasure.
  • My excuse is that winter is a-coming and any way of getting cyclists to brighten up their rides is a good one.
  • It would also brighten the prospects of other firms that are considering selling their patents.
  • If they do as they say, the unemployment picture will brighten considerably.
  • Her sweet personality lights up any room and her infectious laughter and smile can brighten anyone's day.
  • Measure its period by timing how long it takes to brighten and dim.
  • Flaming leaves brighten the hillsides with their changing colors in the fall.
  • Daylighting is simply the use of natural sunlight to brighten up a building's interior.
  • The drought-tolerant annuals planted to brighten things up were suffering, but relief was on the way.
British Dictionary definitions for brighten


to make or become bright or brighter
to make or become cheerful
Derived Forms
brightener, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for brighten

Old English *beorhtnian "to make bright" (see bright (adj.) + -en (1)). Intransitive sense, "to become brighter," attested from c.1300. Figurative use from 1590s. Related: Brightened; brightening.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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