Meaning of lighten


Pronunciation: (līt'n), [key]
— v.i.
  1. to become lighter or less dark; brighten: The sky lightened after the storm.
  2. to brighten or light up, as the eyes or features: Her face lightened when she heard the good news.
  3. to flash as or like lightning (often used impersonally with it as subject): It thundered and lightened for hours.
  4. to shine, gleam, or be bright: steel blades lightening in the sun.
  1. to give light to; illuminate: A full moon lightened the road.
  2. to brighten (the eyes, features, etc.): A large smile lightened his face.
  3. to make lighter or less dark: Add white to lighten the paint.
  4. enlighten.
  5. to flash or emit like lightning (usually fol. by out, forth, or down): eyes that lightened forth implacable hatred.


Pronunciation: (līt'n), [key]
— v.t.
  1. to make lighter in weight: to lighten the load on a truck.
  2. to lessen the load of or upon: to lighten a cargo ship.
  3. to make less burdensome or oppressive; alleviate; mitigate: to lighten taxes; to lighten someone's cares.
  4. to cheer or gladden: Such news lightens my heart.
  1. to become less severe, stringent, or harsh; ease up: Border inspections have lightened recently.
  2. to become less heavy, cumbersome, burdensome, oppressive, etc.: His worries seem to have lightened somewhat.
  3. to become less gloomy; perk up: People's spirits usually lighten when spring arrives.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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