Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “lighten”

See all translations

lighten

verb uk   /ˈlaɪ.tən/ us    /-t̬ən/

lighten verb (BECOME BRIGHT)

[I] to become less dark: The sky had lightened and there were breaks in the clouds.
Opposite

lighten verb (MAKE LESS HEAVY)

lighten sb's burden, load, etc. to make a difficult situation or responsibility easier: Getting a new assistant will lighten (= reduce) the workload considerably.

lighten verb (MAKE PALE)

[T] to make something lighter: The sun always lightens my hair.

lighten verb (MAKE/BECOME LESS SERIOUS)

[I or T] to (cause to) become happier and less worried: His mood lightened after the phone call. He tried to lighten the atmosphere by telling a joke.
(Definition of lighten from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of lighten?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “lighten” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

justice

fairness in the way people are dealt with

Word of the Day

A certain je ne sais quoi: French words and phrases used in English

by Liz Walter,
January 21, 2015
It is an odd irony that the more sophisticated your use of English is, the more likely you are to use French words and phrases. Or, to be more accurate, ones you know to be French – words such as ballet, au pair, abattoir, fiancé, café, and restaurant are so entrenched in

Read More 

flower beard noun

January 19, 2015
a beard adorned with flowers And some of said beard-rockers are even turning it up a notch, painting trend on top of trend with what’s come to be known as ‘the flower beard.’

Read More