See also: Whiten



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).


  • IPA(key): /ˈ(h)waɪtn̩/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -aɪtən


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 termsEdit


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