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[fresh-uh n] /ˈfrɛʃ ən/
verb (used with object)
to make fresh; refresh, revive, or renew:
We need a good rain to freshen the flowers.
to remove saltiness from.
Nautical. to preserve (a rope in use) from prolonged friction or concentrated stress on any one part.
verb (used without object)
to become or grow fresh.
  1. to commence giving milk after calving.
  2. to give birth.
Verb phrases
freshen up, to make oneself feel freshly clean or neat, as by washing, changing clothes, etc.:
to freshen up after a long trip.
Origin of freshen
1690-1700; fresh + -en1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for freshen
  • As material tumbled it would freshen up the surface, causing the observed brightening.
  • Another sister invites them to freshen up in the community shower.
  • The hotel also features day-let rooms for travelers needing to freshen up during a layover.
  • For overnight trips, packing a change of clothing makes it possible to freshen up at the end of the journey.
  • The swimming pool is adjacent to a picnic area and playground, and showers are available nearby to freshen up after your swim.
  • Maybe smaller doses with breaks in between would freshen things up and not strain credibility so much.
  • People keep trying to freshen up the corpse, but it's been rotting all along and is starting to stink up the joint.
  • We're trying to freshen the place up for the new owners.
  • Strange things happen when aging hits try to freshen the mix.
  • We can help you rebrand your image or freshen up your current website.
British Dictionary definitions for freshen


to make or become fresh or fresher
(often foll by up) to refresh (oneself), esp by washing
(intransitive) (of the wind) to increase
to lose or cause to lose saltiness
(intransitive) (mainly US)
  1. (of farm animals) to give birth
  2. (of cows) to commence giving milk after calving
Derived Forms
freshener, 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 freshen

1690s, from fresh (adj.1) + -en (1). Related: Freshened; freshening. To freshen a drink, "top it off" is from 1961. The earlier verb was simply fresh (mid-14c.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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