Words related to -en

sicken (v.)

c. 1200, sikenen, "to become ill," from sick (adj.) + -en (1). Transitive sense of "to make sick, affect with illness" is recorded from 1610s. Related: Sickened; sickening. The earlier verb in Middle English was simply sick (Old English seocan) "be ill, fall ill." It is attested by 1825 as "affect with loathing or disgust."

slacken (v.)

early 15c., from slack (adj.) + -en (1). Related: Slackened; slackening.

smarten (v.)

"to make smart, to spruce up, to improve appearance," 1786, from smart (adj.) in its sense of "spruce, trim" + -en (1). Related: Smartened; smartening.

soften (v.)

late 14c., "to mitigate, diminish" (transitive), from soft (adj.) + -en (1). Meaning "to make physically soft" is from 1520s; intransitive sense of "to become softer" is attested from 1610s. Soften up in military sense of "weaken defenses" is from 1940. Related: Softened; softening.

steepen (v.)

"become steep or more steep," 1827, from steep (adj.) + -en (1). Related: Steepened; steepening.

stiffen (v.)

early 15c., "make steadfast," from stiff (adj.) + -en (1). Intransitive sense from 1690s. Earlier verb was simply stiff "gain strength, become strong" (late 14c.). Related: Stiffened; stiffener; stiffening. Compare German steifen "to stiffen."

straighten (v.)

1540s (transitive), from straight (adj.1) + -en (1). Intransitive sense from 1891. Related: Straightened; straightening; straightener. The Middle English verb was simply straight (late 14c.).

straiten (v.)

1520s (transitive) "to restrict, make narrow," from strait (adj.) + -en (1). Related: straitened; straitening. Earlier verb was simply strait "to make narrow" (early 15c.).

strengthen (v.)

late 14c., from strength + -en (1). Related: Strengthened; strengthening; strengthener. Earlier verb was simply strength (12c.).

sweeten (v.)

1550s (intransitive), from sweet (adj.) + verbal ending -en (1). Transitive sense ("become sweet") is from 1620s. The Middle English form of the verb was simply sweet, from Old English swetan. Related: Sweetened; sweetening.

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