lighten


lighten

verb (used without object)

  1. to become lighter or less dark; brighten: The sky lightened after the storm.
  2. to brighten or light up, as the eyes or features: Her face lightened when she heard the good news.
  3. to flash as or like lightning (often used impersonally with it as subject): It thundered and lightened for hours.
  4. Archaic. to shine, gleam, or be bright: steel blades lightening in the sun.

verb (used with object)

  1. to give light to; illuminate: A full moon lightened the road.
  2. to brighten (the eyes, features, etc.): A large smile lightened his face.
  3. to make lighter or less dark: Add white to lighten the paint.
  4. Obsolete. enlighten.
  5. Obsolete. to flash or emit like lightning (usually followed by out, forth, or down): eyes that lightened forth implacable hatred.

verb (used with object)

  1. to make lighter in weight: to lighten the load on a truck.
  2. to lessen the load of or upon: to lighten a cargo ship.
  3. to make less burdensome or oppressive; alleviate; mitigate: to lighten taxes; to lighten someone’s cares.
  4. to cheer or gladden: Such news lightens my heart.

verb (used without object)

  1. to become less severe, stringent, or harsh; ease up: Border inspections have lightened recently.
  2. to become less heavy, cumbersome, burdensome, oppressive, etc.: His worries seem to have lightened somewhat.
  3. to become less gloomy; perk up: People’s spirits usually lighten when spring arrives.

verb

  1. to become or make light
  2. (intr) to shine; glow
  3. (intr) (of lightning) to flash
  4. (tr) an archaic word for enlighten

verb

  1. to make or become less heavy
  2. to make or become less burdensome or oppressive; mitigate
  3. to make or become more cheerful or lively

v.1“to make less heavy,” figuratively “to make cheerful,” mid-14c., from light (adj.1) + -en (1). Related: Lightened; lightening. v.2“shed light upon, illuminate, brighten,” early 14c., from light (n.) -en (1). Meaning “to grow brighter” is late 14c. Of faces, expressions, etc., from 1795. Related: Lightened; lightening.

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