lighten

To lighten something is to make it brighter or shine a light on it. You can lighten your dark basement room with plenty of lamps and a coat of white paint.

Besides "make lighter or illuminate," another meaning of lighten is "make lighter in weight." So you can lighten your load by taking all the heavy books out of your backpack. Figuratively, "to lighten" is to be more cheerful or relaxed, as in: "She decided to lighten the somber mood in the room by telling a few of her funniest knock-knock jokes."

Definitions of lighten
1

v make lighter or brighter

Synonyms:
brighten, lighten up
Antonyms:
darken
make dark or darker
Type of:
alter, change, modify
cause to change; make different; cause a transformation

v reduce the weight on; make lighter

“she lightened the load on the tired donkey”
Type of:
disburden, unburden
take the burden off; remove the burden from

v become lighter

“The room lightened up”
Synonyms:
lighten up
Antonyms:
darken
become dark or darker
Types:
show 4 types...
hide 4 types...
irradiate
cast rays of light upon
illume, illuminate, illumine, light, light up
make lighter or brighter
floodlight
illuminate with floodlights
spotlight
illuminate with a spotlight, as in the theater
Type of:
change
undergo a change; become different in essence; losing one's or its original nature

v make more cheerful

“the conversation lightened me up a bit”
Synonyms:
buoy up, lighten up
Antonyms:
weigh down, weigh on
be oppressive or disheartening to
Type of:
cheer
show approval or good wishes by shouting

v become more cheerful

“after a glass of wine, he lightened up a bit”
Synonyms:
buoy up, lighten up
Type of:
cheer, cheer up, chirk up
become cheerful

v alleviate or remove (pressure or stress) or make less oppressive

lighten the burden of caring for her elderly parents”
Synonyms:
relieve
Type of:
mitigate
make less severe or harsh

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