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[sweet-n] /ˈswit n/
verb (used with object)
to make sweet, as by adding sugar.
to make mild or kind; soften.
to lessen the acridity or pungency of (a food) by prolonged cooking.
to reduce the saltiness of (a food or dish) by diluting with water, milk, or other liquid.
to make (the breath, room air, etc.) sweet or fresh, as with a mouthwash, spray, etc.
(in musical recording) to add musical instruments to (an arrangement), especially strings for a lusher sound.
  1. to make (the stomach, soil, etc.) less acidic, as by means of certain preparations, chemicals, etc.
  2. to remove sulfur and its compounds from (oil or gas).
  1. to enhance the value of (loan collateral) by including additional or especially valuable securities.
  2. to add to the value or attractiveness of (any proposition, holding, etc.).
to add more liquor to (an alcoholic drink).
Poker. to add stakes to (a pot) before opening.
verb (used without object)
to become sweet or sweeter.
Origin of sweeten
1545-55; sweet + -en1
Related forms
nonsweetened, adjective
outsweeten, verb (used with object)
oversweeten, verb (used with object)
presweeten, verb (used with object)
resweeten, verb
unsweetened, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for sweeten
  • Knight also highlighted the impact of sugar beets and other crops that may require a lot of water, used to sweeten the drink.
  • They could promise them now to sweeten the change and then afterwards they could mysteriously vanish.
  • We think they are a safe bet to sweeten your tailgate.
  • After all, for me the bitter brew doesn't taste the same if there isn't an electronic screen to sweeten it.
  • Some of what they're finding doesn't sweeten the picture.
  • The garlic will sweeten during the long cooking and disappear into the sauce.
  • Call your hotel first and ask what they can do to sweeten the pot.
  • Beat cream until stiff, add to apricot pulp, and sweeten to taste.
  • Give me an ounce of civet, good apothecary, to sweeten my imagination.
  • The idea now is to use the abolition of the tax shield to sweeten the end of the wealth tax.
British Dictionary definitions for sweeten


verb (mainly transitive)
(also intransitive) to make or become sweet or sweeter
to mollify or soften (a person)
to make more agreeable
(also intransitive) (chem) to free or be freed from unpleasant odours, acidic or corrosive substances, or the like
(finance, mainly US) to raise the value of (loan collateral) by adding more securities
(informal, poker) to enlarge (the pot) by adding chips
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 sweeten

1550s, from sweet (adj.) + verbal ending -en (1). The Middle English form of the verb was simply sweet, from Old English swetan. Related: Sweetened; sweetening.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for sweeten



Great; excellent: sweet deal

Related Terms

blonde and sweet

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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