lighten Definition in the Cambridge English Dictionary

Definition of “lighten” - English Dictionary

"lighten" in American English

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lightenverb [T]

 us   /ˈlɑɪ·tən/

lighten verb [T] (MAKE NOT SERIOUS)

to make someone or ​becomehappier and less ​anxious: Being with ​friends lightened her ​mood.

lighten verb [T] (MAKE NOT HEAVY)

to ​reduce the ​weight of something: He ​lost 30 ​pounds to lighten the ​burden on his ​knee. To lighten is also to make an ​amount of ​work or a ​responsibility less ​heavy: To lighten the ​load, he ​decided to ​divide the ​job between two ​people.
Phrasal verbs
(Definition of lighten from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"lighten" in British English

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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.

lighten verb (MAKE LESS HEAVY)

lighten sb's burden, load, etc. to make a ​difficultsituation or ​responsibilityeasier: Getting a new ​assistant will lighten (= ​reduce) the ​workloadconsiderably.

lighten verb (MAKE PALE)

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


[I or T] to (​cause to) ​becomehappier and less ​worried: His mood lightened after the ​phonecall. He ​tried to lighten the ​atmosphere by ​telling a ​joke.
(Definition of lighten from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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