[hwahyt-n-ing, wahyt-]


a preparation for making something white; whiting.
the act or process of making or turning white.

Origin of whitening

First recorded in 1595–1605; whiten + -ing1


[hwahyt-n, wahyt-n]

verb (used with or without object)

to make or become white.

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. 2019

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



to make or become white or whiter; bleach
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