Etymology
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brighten (v.)

Middle English brightenen, from Old English *beorhtnian "make bright" (see bright (adj.) + -en (1)). The intransitive sense of "become brighter" is attested from c. 1300. The figurative meaning "dispel gloom from, cheer" is from 1590s. Related: Brightened; brightening. The simple verb bright (Old English byrhtan "be bright," geberhtan "make bright") was in Middle English, often in figurative senses "cleanse, purify; clarify, explain," but has become obsolete.

updated on October 24, 2022

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