• synonyms


[hwahyt-n-ing, wahyt-]
  1. a preparation for making something white; whiting.
  2. the act or process of making or turning white.
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Origin of whitening

First recorded in 1595–1605; whiten + -ing1


[hwahyt-n, wahyt-n]
verb (used with or without object)
  1. to make or become white.
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Origin of whiten

1250–1300; Middle English whitenen; see white, -en1
Related formsun·whit·ened, adjective

Synonyms for whiten

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.

Antonyms for whiten

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for whitening

bleach, blanch, whitewash, lighten, frost, dull, etiolate, blench, fade, white, pale, silver, grizzle, decolorize, chalk, decolor

Examples from the Web for whitening

Contemporary Examples of whitening

Historical Examples of whitening

  • There was nothing in his whitening face to help me to a decision.

    In the Valley

    Harold Frederic

  • His eyes were large and heavy; his long beard was whitening.

    A Son of Hagar

    Sir Hall Caine

  • There was a somber light in his eyes, and his lips were whitening.

    A Son of Hagar

    Sir Hall Caine

  • Mercy stood in the middle of the floor with a tearless and whitening face.

    A Son of Hagar

    Sir Hall Caine

  • Only her face was ashy pale, and her whitening lips quivered.

    A Son of Hagar

    Sir Hall Caine

British Dictionary definitions for whitening


  1. to make or become white or whiter; bleach
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Derived Formswhitening, 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