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From Middle English whitenen, whitnen, from Old Norse hvítna(to whiten), from Proto-Germanic *hwītnōną(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).



whiten (third-person singular simple present whitens, present participle whitening, simple past and past participle whitened)

  1. (ergative) (To cause) to become white or whiter; to bleach or blanch.
    Age had whitened his hair.
    The trees in spring whiten with blossoms.

Derived terms[edit]


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