Definition of widen verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

     

    widen

     verb
    verb
    BrE BrE//ˈwaɪdn//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈwaɪdn//
     
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they widen
    BrE BrE//ˈwaɪdn//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈwaɪdn//
     
    he / she / it widens
    BrE BrE//ˈwaɪdnz//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈwaɪdnz//
     
    past simple widened
    BrE BrE//ˈwaɪdnd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈwaɪdnd//
     
    past participle widened
    BrE BrE//ˈwaɪdnd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈwaɪdnd//
     
    -ing form widening
    BrE BrE//ˈwaɪdnɪŋ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈwaɪdnɪŋ//
     
     
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  1. 1[intransitive, transitive] to become wider; to make something wider Her eyes widened in surprise. widen into something Here the stream widens into a river. widen something They may have to widen the road to cope with the increase in traffic.
  2. 2[intransitive, transitive] to become larger in degree or range; to make something larger in degree or range the widening gap between rich and poor widen something We plan to widen the scope of our existing activities by offering more language courses. The legislation will be widened to include all firearms.
  3. Word Familywide adjective adverbwidely adverbwiden verbwidth nounExtra examples Jasmine’s eyes widened with disbelief. The gap between rich and poor has widened considerably. The road gradually widens out. The road widens out and becomes a dual carriageway. The trade deficit had widened from £26 billion to £30 billion. Another concern is the widening gap between rich and poor.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: widen