from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- transitive v. To make or become white or whiter, especially by bleaching.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- v. To make white or whiter; to bleach or blanch.
- v. To become white or whiter; to bleach or blanch.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- intransitive v. To grow white; to turn or become white or whiter
- transitive v. To make white; to bleach; to blanch; to whitewash.
from The 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.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- 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)