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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
sb’s face lights up/brightens (=they start to look happy)
▪ Denise’s face lit up when she heard the news.
▪ They are there to brighten up the place and to foreshadow the eternal pleasures awaiting Khmer heroes in the afterlife.
▪ Rivers only roll along to brighten up the landscape, and cattle graze only to give life to his drawings.
▪ You should only see their eager faces how they brighten up when the Sisters come.
▪ Perhaps she would brighten up now that she had another substantial amount of cash to spend.
▪ She brightened up. ` Still, there's one way to find them.
▪ Many of them are particularly useful for brightening up shady positions.
▪ Driving away from the town and along the coast road, Sarah brightened up considerably as she thought of Emily's words.
▪ Mami asked, her face brightening.
▪ Joey asked, his face brightening.
▪ You should only see their eager faces how they brighten up when the Sisters come.
▪ After the polonaise, the first waltz brightened the room with its jaunty rhythm.
▪ The morning sunshine brightened the room, embellishing the cups and plates upon the dresser.
▪ This unusual, colourful hanging ornament will brighten any room.
▪ Fireworks brightened the sky.
▪ Flowers are one way to brighten your surroundings.
▪ I read an article in the paper that brightened my day.
▪ Julie brightened up at the thought of visiting home.
▪ New curtains would brighten up the room.
▪ The political situation has brightened in recent months.
▪ At his name, James Whitaker, royal correspondent of the Mirror, brightened as though you had changed his batteries.
▪ But neighbours say it brightens up the area and they want it to stay.
▪ He looked at his watch to find that it was 0228, but still the sky had not begun to brighten.
▪ His eyes brightened through his rimless glasses.
▪ This brightens and hardens the surface of cutlery so it becomes more resistant to wear and it also removes minor scratches.
▪ Won't that brighten the neighborhood!
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Brighten \Bright"en\, v. i. [AS. beorhtan.] To grow bright, or more bright; to become less dark or gloomy; to clear up; to become bright or cheerful.

And night shall brighten into day.
--N. Cotton.

And, all his prospects brightening to the last, His heaven commences ere world be past.


Brighten \Bright"en\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Brightened; p. pr. & vb. n. Brightening.] Note: [From Bright, a.]

  1. To make bright or brighter; to make to shine; to increase the luster of; to give a brighter hue to.

  2. To make illustrious, or more distinguished; to add luster or splendor to.

    The present queen would brighten her character, if she would exert her authority to instill virtues into her people.

  3. To improve or relieve by dispelling gloom or removing that which obscures and darkens; to shed light upon; to make cheerful; as, to brighten one's prospects.

    An ecstasy, which mothers only feel, Plays round my heart and brightens all my sorrow.

  4. To make acute or witty; to enliven.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

Old English *beorhtnian "to make bright" (see bright (adj.) + -en (1)). Intransitive sense, "to become brighter," attested from c.1300. Figurative use from 1590s. Related: Brightened; brightening.


vb. 1 (lb en transitive) To make bright or brighter in color. 2 (lb en transitive) To make illustrious, or more distinguished; to add luster or splendor to 3 (lb en transitive figuratively) To make more cheerful and pleasant; to enliven 4 (lb en intransitive) To grow bright, or more bright in color; to clear up 5 (lb en intransitive) To become brighter or more cheerful in mood 6 To make acute or witty; to enliven.

  1. v. make lighter or brighter; "The paint will brighten the room" [syn: lighten up, lighten] [ant: darken]

  2. become clear; "The sky cleared after the storm" [syn: clear up, clear, light up] [ant: overcast]

  3. become brighter; "The sky brightened around noon"; "Her face brightened when she heard the good news" [ant: darken]

  4. become brighter; "The sky brightened" [syn: lighten] [ant: darken]


Brighten is a pop rock band from Chico, California, consisting of brothers Justin (guitar, lead vocals) and Jimmy (drums) Richards, and Alex Draper (bass, backing vocals). The band has recently been on tour with This Providence, Cute Is What We Aim For, Eisley, and All Time Low. In 2007, their debut album, King vs. Queen, was released on Carbon Copy Media, without the band's full knowledge.

Usage examples of "brighten".

Full daylight, or its analogue, came from the brightening east to meet the travelers on the road.

Tiny lights brightened within and names floated benignly beneath them.

Garth Breise paused at the outer perimeter control tower and redirected the nearby spotlights to brighten all the area around the base of the tower.

The tables were brightened with the bouquets and the floral designs of ships, anchors, harps, and doves sent to the lady passengers, and at one time the Marches thought they were going to be put before a steam-yacht realized to the last detail in blue and white violets.

At the last-mentioned suggestion, the face of the man of repeated disappointments measurably brightened, and he eagerly inquired where he could find a snake.

Pipichari has given me a small quantity of the poisonous paste, and has also taken me to see the plant from the root of which it is made, the Aconitum Japonicum, a monkshood, whose tall spikes of blue flowers are brightening the brushwood in all directions.

There will be an equatorial brightening of the sun, essentially, an outflux of energy that will bathe the orbital plane of Earth, and the other planets.

Her eyes brightened, her hand trembled towards Perrot, and touched him.

As the light brightened and more faces rose to be locked, phototropic, the splendor unhinged some people.

Morning sunlight gleamed through the open windows to warm and brighten the room, reflected by predesign from the surfaces of neighboring buildings.

The forsythia gave off a golden glow on either side of the gates marked by granite pillars, and the crushed white quahog shells that served as driveway dressing brightened the grassy surround.

Every monitor brightened as the screens began to crawl with diagnostics as the system rebooted, then the comps did a systems check and began to scroll command codes.

He brought round a few sketches the next day to brighten the walls, and replated the gum-bottle and other useful ornaments by some German beer-mugs.

Gradually, however, as his neighbours plied him with drink, his shoulders grew squarer, his back stiffened, his eyes brightened, and he looked about him, with an air of surprise at first, as if he had no clear recollection of how he came there, and afterwards with an expression of deepening interest, as he listened, with his ear scooped up in his hand, to the conversation around him.

Hesperides of the silent air, and his blinding light comes slant across the glassy calm till it strikes on the scarred and storm-rent faces of these Breton crags, illuminating and vivifying every nook and cranny of the cliffs beneath, burning on the summits and brightening their natural red to the vivid crimson of dripping blood, changing the coarse grass and yellow starwort into threads of emerald and glimmering stars, burning in a golden mist around the yellow flowers of the overhanging broom, and striking with fiercest ray on one naked rock of solid stone which juts out like a huge horn over the brink of the abyss, and around which a strong rope is noosed and firmly knotted.