Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

widen - definition and synonyms


What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.



The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

verb widen pronunciation in British English /ˈwaɪd(ə)n/
Word Forms
present tense
present participlewidening
past tensewidened
past participlewidened
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  1. 1
    [intransitive] to become wider
    His eyes widened in shocked disbelief.
    1. a.
      [transitive] to make something wider
      They’re planning to widen the road outside our house.
  2. 2
    [intransitive] to increase
    The gap between rich and poor seems to be widening.
    1. a.
      [transitive] to increase something
      The police are widening the scope of their investigation.
      They’re widening the choice of foreign languages available.

derived word


an ever-widening range of goods


a fashion trend in which people intentionally wear ordinary, inexpensive, widely-available clothing

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary


a flower or small bunch of flowers worn on the lapel of a jacket on special occasions

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog