UK:*UK and possibly other pronunciationsUK and possibly other pronunciations/ˈlaɪtən/US:USA pronunciation: IPA and respellingUSA pronuncation: IPA/ˈlaɪtən/ ,USA pronunciation: respelling(lītn)

WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2020
light•en1 /ˈlaɪtən/USA pronunciation   v. 
  1. to (cause to) become lighter or less dark;
    brighten: [no object]The sky lightened at dawn.[+ object]The sun lightened her hair.

light•en2 /ˈlaɪtən/USA pronunciation   v. 
  1. to make lighter in weight:[+ object]They lightened the sinking lifeboat by throwing off extra weight.
  2. to (cause to) become less of a burden: [+ object]to lighten taxes.[no object]Our responsibilities have begun to lighten somewhat.
  3. to (cause to) become cheery or glad: [+ object]Such news lightens my heart.[no object]His heart lightened at the thought.
  4. lighten up, to (cause to) become less serious or earnest: [no object]needs to lighten up.[+ object + up]Only she can lighten him up.

WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2020
light•en1  (lītn),USA pronunciation v.i. 
  1. to become lighter or less dark;
    brighten:The sky lightened after the storm.
  2. to brighten or light up, as the eyes or features:Her face lightened when she heard the good news.
  3. to flash as or like lightning (often used impersonally with it as subject):It thundered and lightened for hours.
  4. [Archaic.]to shine, gleam, or be bright:steel blades lightening in the sun.

  1. to give light to;
    illuminate:A full moon lightened the road.
  2. to brighten (the eyes, features, etc.):A large smile lightened his face.
  3. to make lighter or less dark:Add white to lighten the paint.
  4. [Obs.]enlighten.
  5. [Obs.]to flash or emit like lightning (usually fol. by out, forth, or down):eyes that lightened forth implacable hatred.
lighten•er, n. 
  • 1300–50; Middle English lightnen; see light1, -en1

light•en2  (lītn),USA pronunciation v.t. 
  1. to make lighter in weight:to lighten the load on a truck.
  2. to lessen the load of or upon:to lighten a cargo ship.
  3. to make less burdensome or oppressive;
    mitigate:to lighten taxes; to lighten someone's cares.
  4. to cheer or gladden:Such news lightens my heart.

  1. to become less severe, stringent, or harsh;
    ease up:Border inspections have lightened recently.
  2. to become less heavy, cumbersome, burdensome, oppressive, etc.:His worries seem to have lightened somewhat.
  3. to become less gloomy;
    perk up:People's spirits usually lighten when spring arrives.
  • 1350–1400; Middle English lightnen; see light2, -en1
    • 3.See corresponding entry in Unabridged ease, lessen, reduce.
    • 3.See corresponding entry in Unabridged aggravate.

Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::
lighten /ˈlaɪtən/ vb
  1. to become or make light
  2. (intransitive) to shine; glow
  3. (intransitive) (of lightning) to flash
lighten /ˈlaɪtən/ vb
  1. to make or become less heavy
  2. to make or become less burdensome or oppressive; mitigate
  3. to make or become more cheerful or lively
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