Did you know?

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


 - definition

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 entries. Click on the T button in an entry to review 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
  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 paid holiday given to a new employee before they start their job

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary

selfie stick

an expandable stick which you attach to a mobile phone or camera to help you take a selfie …

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