[fresh-uh n]

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.
(of a cow)
  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.

Nearby words

  1. fresh breeze,
  2. fresh frozen plasma,
  3. fresh gale,
  4. fresh out of,
  5. fresh-run,
  6. freshener,
  7. fresher,
  8. freshet,
  9. freshie,
  10. freshly

Origin of freshen

First recorded in 1690–1700; fresh + -en1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for freshen

British Dictionary definitions for freshen



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

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