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[hwahyt-n-ing, wahyt-] /ˈʰwaɪt n ɪŋ, ˈwaɪt-/
a preparation for making something white; whiting.
the act or process of making or turning white.
Origin of whitening
1595-1605; whiten + -ing1


[hwahyt-n, wahyt-n] /ˈʰwaɪt n, ˈwaɪt n/
verb (used with object), verb (used without object)
to make or become white.
1250-1300; Middle English whitenen; see white, -en1
Related forms
unwhitened, adjective
Whiten, blanch, bleach mean to make or become white. To whiten implies giving a white color or appearance by putting a substance of some kind on the outside: to whiten shoes. To blanch implies taking away natural or original color throughout: to blanch celery by growing it in the dark. To bleach implies making white by placing in (sun) light or by using chemicals: to bleach linen, hair.
blacken. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for whitening
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Many years after, their bones were whitening on this summit.

    The History of Peru Henry S. Beebe
  • There was nothing in his whitening face to help me to a decision.

    In the Valley Harold Frederic
  • Eddy, meanwhile, made not a whimper, but kept his whitening lips close shut.

    The Debtor Mary E. Wilkins Freeman
  • There was a somber light in his eyes, and his lips were whitening.

    A Son of Hagar Sir Hall Caine
  • Some had to be content with shields of wood, others of wicker-work, which they spent their time in coating with whitening.

    Hellenica Xenophon
  • The moon was rising and whitening as he stepped from the door.

    The Manxman Hall Caine
  • The snow was falling and whitening the coffin as they lowered it into the ground.

    The Newcomes William Makepeace Thackeray
  • He stared at it and still stared, with whitening face and pursed lips.

    Bob, Son of Battle Alfred Ollivant
British Dictionary definitions for whitening


to make or become white or whiter; bleach
Derived Forms
whitening, 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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