lightening

[ lahyt-n-ing ]
/ ˈlaɪt n ɪŋ /

noun Medicine/Medical.

the descent of the uterus into the pelvic cavity, occurring toward the end of pregnancy, changing the contour of the abdomen and facilitating breathing by lessening pressure under the diaphragm.

Origin of lightening

First recorded in 1520–30; lighten2 + -ing1

Can be confused

lightening lightning

Definition for lightening (2 of 3)

lighten

1
[ lahyt-n ]
/ ˈlaɪt n /

verb (used without object)

verb (used with object)

Origin of lighten

1
1300–50; Middle English lightnen; see light1, -en1

Related forms

light·en·er, noun

Definition for lightening (3 of 3)

lighten

2
[ lahyt-n ]
/ ˈlaɪt n /

verb (used with object)

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

verb (used without object)

Origin of lighten

2
1350–1400; Middle English lightnen; see light2, -en1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for lightening

British Dictionary definitions for lightening (1 of 3)

lightening

/ (ˈlaɪtənɪŋ) /

noun

obstetrics the sensation, experienced by many women late in pregnancy when the head of the fetus enters the pelvis, of a reduction in pressure on the diaphragm, making it easier to breathe

British Dictionary definitions for lightening (2 of 3)

lighten

1
/ (ˈlaɪtən) /

verb

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

British Dictionary definitions for lightening (3 of 3)

lighten

2
/ (ˈlaɪtən) /

verb

to make or become less heavy
to make or become less burdensome or oppressive; mitigate
to make or become more cheerful or lively
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

Medicine definitions for lightening

lightening

[ lītn-ĭng ]

n.

The sensation of decreased abdominal distention during the latter weeks of pregnancy following the descent of the fetal head into the pelvic inlet.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.