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Webster 1913 Edition


Lighten

Light′en

(līt′’n)
,
Verb.
I.
[See
Light
to alight.]
To descend; to light.
O Lord, let thy mercy
lighten
upon us.
Book of Common Prayer [Eng. Ed.].

Light′en

(līt′’n)
,
Verb.
I.
[
imp. & p. p.
Lightened
(līt′’nd)
;
p. pr. & vb. n.
Lightening
.]
[OE.
lightenen
. See
Light
to kindle, illuminate.]
1.
To burst forth or dart, as lightning; to shine with, or like, lightning; to display a flash or flashes of lightning; to flash.
This dreadful night,
That thunders,
lightens
, opens graves, and roars
As doth the lion.
Shakespeare
2.
To grow lighter; to become less dark or lowering; to brighten; to clear, as the sky.

Light′en

,
Verb.
T.
[See
Light
to illuminate.]
1.
To make light or clear; to light; to illuminate;
as, to
lighten
an apartment with lamps or gas; to
lighten
the streets.
[In this sense less common than light.]
A key of fire ran all along the shore,
And
lightened
all the river with a blaze.
Dryden.
2.
To illuminate with knowledge; to enlighten.
[In this sense less common than enlighten.]
Lighten
my spirit with one clear heavenly ray.
Sir J. Davies.
3.
To emit or disclose in, or as in, lightning; to flash out, like lightning.
His eye . . .
lightens
forth
Controlling majesty.
Shakespeare
4.
To free from trouble and fill with joy.
They looked unto him, and were
lightened
.
Ps. xxxiv. 5.

Light′en

,
Verb.
T.
[See
Light
not heavy.]
1.
To make lighter, or less heavy; to reduce in weight; to relieve of part of a load or burden;
as, to
lighten
a ship by unloading; to
lighten
a load or burden.
2.
To make less burdensome or afflictive; to alleviate;
as, to
lighten
the cares of life or the burden of grief
.
3.
To cheer; to exhilarate.
Lightens
my humor with his merry jests.
Shakespeare

Webster 1828 Edition


Lighten

LIGHTEN

,
Verb.
I.
li'tn. [from light, the fluid.]
1.
To flash; to burst forth or dart, as lightning; to shine with an instantaneous illumination.
This dreadful night that thunders, lightens, opens graves, and roars as doth the lion.
2.
To shine like lightning.
3.
To fall; to light. Obs.

LIGHTEN

,
Verb.
T.
li'tn.
1.
To dissipate darkness; to fill with light; to spread over with light; to illuminate; to enlighten; as, to lighten an apartment with lamps or gas; to lighten the streets.
A key of fire ran all along the shore, and lightened all the river with a blaze.
2.
To illuminate with knowledge; in a moral sense.
A light to lighten the Gentiles. Luke 2.
3.
To free from trouble and fill with joy.
They looked to him and were lightened. Ps. 34.

LIGHTEN

,
Verb.
T.
li'tn. [from light, not heavy.]
1.
To make lighter; to reduce in weight; to make less heavy; as, to lighten a ship by unloading; to lighten a load or burden.
2.
To alleviate; to make less burdensome or afflictive; as, to lighten the cares of life; to lighten the burden of grief.
3.
To cheer; to exhilarate.
He lightens my humor with his merry jest.

Definition 2021


lighten

lighten

English

Verb

lighten (third-person singular simple present lightens, present participle lightening, simple past and past participle lightened)

  1. (transitive) To alleviate; to reduce the burden of.
  2. (transitive) To make light or lighter in weight.
  3. (transitive) To make less serious or more cheerful.
    • Bible, Psalms xxxiv. 5
      They looked unto him, were lightened.
  4. (transitive) To make brighter or clearer; to illuminate.
    to lighten an apartment with lamps or gas; to lighten the streets
    • Dryden
      A key of fire ran all along the shore, / And lightened all the river with a blaze.
  5. (intransitive) To become light or lighter in weight.
  6. (intransitive) To become less serious or more cheerful.
  7. (intransitive) To become brighter or clearer; to brighten.
  8. (intransitive) To burst forth or dart, as lightning; to shine with, or like, lightning; to flash.
    • Shakespeare
      This dreadful night, / That thunders, lightens, opens graves, and roars / As doth the lion.
  9. (transitive) To emit or disclose in, or as if in, lightning; to flash out, like lightning.
    • Shakespeare
      His eye [] lightens forth / Controlling majesty.
  10. To descend; to light.
    • Book of Common Prayer
      O Lord, let thy mercy lighten upon us.
  11. To illuminate with knowledge; to enlighten.
    • Sir J. Davies
      Lighten my spirit with one clear heavenly ray.

Conjugation

Derived terms

Translations