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. verb
    make lighter or brighter
    synonyms: brighten, lighten up
    see moresee less
    Antonyms:
    darken
    make dark or darker
    type of:
    alter, change, modify
    cause to change; make different; cause a transformation
  2. verb
    reduce the weight on; make lighter
    “she lightened the load on the tired donkey”
    see moresee less
    type of:
    disburden, unburden
    take the burden off; remove the burden from
  3. verb
    become lighter
    “The room lightened up”
    synonyms: lighten up
    see moresee less
    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
  4. verb
    make more cheerful
    “the conversation lightened me up a bit”
    synonyms: buoy up, lighten up
    see moresee less
    Antonyms:
    weigh down, weigh on
    be oppressive or disheartening to
    type of:
    cheer
    show approval or good wishes by shouting
  5. verb
    become more cheerful
    synonyms: buoy up, lighten up
    see moresee less
    type of:
    cheer, cheer up, chirk up
    become cheerful
  6. verb
    alleviate or remove (pressure or stress) or make less oppressive
    lighten the burden of caring for her elderly parents”
    synonyms: relieve
    see moresee less
    type of:
    mitigate
    make less severe or harsh
Word Family