Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[brahyt-n] /ˈbraɪt n/
verb (used with or without object)
to become or make bright or brighter.
Origin of brighten
First recorded in 1250-1300, brighten is from the Middle English word 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. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for brighten
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "brighten your lovely features with a smile, Katherine me dear," she said gaily.

    Her Father's Daughter Gene Stratton-Porter
  • Why should they brighten their tomahawks and sharpen their knives against each other?

    The Last of the Mohicans James Fenimore Cooper
  • It looked grave and bare, with not even a flower in a vase to brighten it.

  • The face over which my lover bent did not brighten; nor the eyes recognize him.

    The First Violin Jessie Fothergill
  • Wash the dripping-pan in hot water with soda in it, and rub it with sand to brighten it.

    The Skilful Cook Mary Harrison
  • His was a grey life, and to brighten it he had ruled off few corners for romance.

    Howards End E. M. Forster
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
Cite This Source
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
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for brighten

Word Value for brighten

Scrabble Words With Friends