Definition of brighten in English:


Syllabification: bright·en
Pronunciation: /ˈbrītn


  • 1Make or become more light: [no object]: the day began to brighten in the east [with object]: the fire began to blaze fiercely, brightening the room
    More example sentences
    • This will ensure that natural light can enter and brighten up your rooms.
    • And in this ordinary day, the sun suddenly begins to brighten up the blue skies.
    • The other members quickly agreed, and the light in the room began to brighten.
    illuminate, light up, lighten, make bright, make brighter, cast/shed light on
    formal illume
  • 1.1 [with object] Make (something) more attractively and cheerfully colorful: this colorful hanging ornament will brighten any room daffodils brighten up many gardens and parks
    More example sentences
    • A host of colourful balloons brighten the skies over Canberra during the week-long festival.
    • Only the edge of the canvas is brightened by colour.
    • They arrived, a swirl of colour, brightening this black and white movie that silenced our lives.
  • 1.2Make or become happier and more cheerful: [no object]: Sarah brightened up considerably as she thought of Emily’s words [with object]: she seems to brighten his life
    More example sentences
    • Maybe, to brighten up, all this school needs is a bit more poetry.
    • A breath of fresh air, a quick lunch-hour walk or an office with a window all seem to brighten up our day.
    • Here's a story of mischief and mayhem to brighten up your Monday morning lecture.
    cheer up, perk up, rally; be enlivened, feel heartened, be uplifted, be encouraged, take heart
    informal buck up, pep up


Old English (ge)beorhtnian.

More definitions of brighten

Definition of brighten in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day maelstrom
Pronunciation: ˈmālˌsträm
a powerful whirlpool in the sea