American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- v. To make or become white or whiter, especially by bleaching.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To become white; turn white; bleach: as, the sea whitens with foam.
- To make white; bleach; blanch; whitewash: as, to whiten cloth; to whiten a wall.
- Synonyms Whiten, Bleach, Blanch, Etiolate. Whiten may be a general word for making white, but is chiefly used for the putting of a white coating upon a surface: as, a wall whitened by the application of lime; the sea, whitened by the wind. White for whiten is old-fashioned or Biblical. Bleach and blanch express the act of making white by removal, change, or destruction of color. Bleaching is done chemically or by exposure to light and air: as, to bleach linen or bones. Blanching is a natural process: celery and other plants are blanched or etiolated by excluding light from them; cheeks are blanched by fear, when the blood retires from their capillaries and leaves them pale. See also defs. 5 and 6 under blanch.
- v. transitive To make white or whiter; to bleach or blanch.
- v. intransitive To become white or whiter; to bleach or blanch.
GNU Webster's 1913
- v. To grow white; to turn or become white or whiter
- v. To make white; to bleach; to blanch; to whitewash.
- v. turn white
- From Middle English whitenen, whitnen, from Old Norse hvítna ("to whiten"), from Proto-Germanic *hwītnōnan (“to whiten, become white”), from Proto-Indo-European *kwind-, *kwint- (“bright”), equivalent to white + -en. Cognate with Icelandic hvítna ("to whiten"), Swedish vitna, hvitna ("to whiten"), Danish hvidne ("to whiten"). Compare Old English hwītian ("to whiten, become white, be white, make white"). (Wiktionary)
“Some of the ire towards the hiring of Placas is the concern that she will "whiten" "Essence" up, thus destroying the inimitable girlfriend-to-girlfriend style, complexion, and tone of the magazine.”
“I hate when they try to "whiten" her up by making her blonde in movies.”
“Mainly because the lady who lent me the Santa Suit (which, by the way, was a cheap version of a real Santa suit ... check out the flimsy beard that doesn't have a single curl in it) told me that I had to "whiten" my eyebrows.”
“This product does not contain bleach so it will not "whiten" the wood.”
“More specifically, the relative differences between the WT and Adaptation acting through L2-R feedback helps to "whiten" LMC output.”
“After letting the cleaned skull air dry put it in a bucket with Hydrogen peroxide to whiten it.”
“I've seen taxidermists cover the skull with a paste to whiten it but I don't know what the recipe is.”
“To become a cultural elite in America, one has to whiten him - or herself.”
“Willows whiten, aspens quiver, Mary Bella recited for him, Little breezes dusk and shiver … Once he had been woken in the night by her father, who needed help delivering a calf, and afterwards they sat drinking whisky until dawn.”
“Carly grips the metal slot, and her knuckles whiten.”
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Verbs constructed with the -en suffix.
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