- 1[intransitive, transitive] to become or make something lighter or brighter in colour In the distance, the sky was beginning to brighten. brighten something a shampoo to brighten and condition your hair
- 2[intransitive, transitive] to become, feel or look happier; to make somebody look happier Her eyes brightened. brighten up He brightened up at their words of encouragement. brighten something (up) A smile brightened her face.
- 3[transitive, intransitive] brighten (something) (up) to become or make something become more pleasant or enjoyable; to bring hope A personal letter will usually brighten up a person's day.
- 4[transitive] brighten something (up) to make something look more brightly coloured and attractive Fresh flowers will brighten up any room in the house.
- 5[intransitive] brighten (up) (of the weather) to improve and become brighter According to the forecast, it should brighten up later. Word Origin Old English (ge)beorhtnian.Extra examples She brightened up a little at the thought of the cruise. Their rather heavy faces brightened visibly. The morning sunshine brightened the room. The sky was beginning to brighten. This shampoo will brighten and condition your hair.
BrE BrE//ˈbraɪtn//; NAmE NAmE//ˈbraɪtn//Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they brighten
BrE BrE//ˈbraɪtn//; NAmE NAmE//ˈbraɪtn//he / she / it brightens
BrE BrE//ˈbraɪtnz//; NAmE NAmE//ˈbraɪtnz//past simple brightened
BrE BrE//ˈbraɪtnd//; NAmE NAmE//ˈbraɪtnd//past participle brightened
BrE BrE//ˈbraɪtnd//; NAmE NAmE//ˈbraɪtnd//-ing form brightening
BrE BrE//ˈbraɪtnɪŋ//; NAmE NAmE//ˈbraɪtnɪŋ//