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brighten up

1. To add color, light, or cheer to a space (perhaps one that is dim, dark, or gloomy). I can't wait for the flowers I planted to blossom into beautiful colors and brighten up our yard. A new paint color really brightened up that old house.
2. To make something lighter in color. I'm thinking of brightening up my hair with some blonde highlights. It really looks like rain right now—I'd wait to go out until the sky brightens up a bit.
3. To become happier in mood, especially after one has been glum or sad. Your mother really brightened up when she got the flowers you sent.
See also: brighten, up

brighten up (the) day

To make a situation more pleasant or enjoyable; to make one happier. Finding $20 on my way home really brightened up my day! Janice is such a good friend. Talking to her always brightens up the day.
See also: brighten, up
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

brighten up

to become brighter; to lighten, especially with sunshine. The sky is brightening up a little. When the morning sky brightens up just a little, the birds begin to sing.
See also: brighten, up
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

brighten up

1. To become brighter or more intense in color: The sky brightened up quickly as the clouds dispersed.
2. To make something brighter or more intense in color: Some red paint will brighten up this dreary room. Put some yellow into the dye to brighten it up.
3. To become happier; improve one's mood or outlook: He brightened up after you began talking with him.
4. To make someone happier or more cheerful: The sunny weather brightened up the tired travelers. A cool glass of lemonade would brighten me up right now.
See also: brighten, up
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Florist Annie James is leaving flowers at random locations in South Wales to brighten someone's day ANNIE JAMES / BOUQUET BOX
In exchange, the company shall issue a certain number of its shares of common stock, representing 19.5% of the issued and outstanding shares of CLNT, and a five-year interest-free promissory note with a principal amount of USD 13,762,125 to Brighten.
The paintings exceeded all expectations and the community were really pleased with the appearance of the building -- which brightened up the town centre and added a splash of colour."
anti-ageing Sanctuary Therapist Secret Oil, PS17.35 hydrate Boots Botanics Organic Facial Oil, PS9.99 brighten Clarins Blue Orchid Oil, PS30
A team from DLA Piper has brightened up the lives of some of Birmingham's most needy youngsters.
When he was twenty-nine and promoting Pavement's album Brighten the Corners, Stephen Malkmus told the New York Times, "Nothing bores me more than the generation of twenty-something people.
WHITE paint can be used to brighten up shady gardens, so splash it around on trellis, sheds and furniture.
They brighten up the place, especially on a dull day.
Many comets often brighten. They travel around the sun in oval-shaped orbits.
CHEEKS Brighten your complexion with blue-based deeper shades like wine and burgundy.
You can see the eyes of sick and disabled veterans brighten when top-rated Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Jason Arnold breezes into a room at a VA medical center.
The sun broke through between showers Monday afternoon to brighten the Mohawk Valley.
Fresh flowers are a simple and easy way to brighten up any room - whether it's a bouquet in a vase, or a simple plant such as a hyacinth.
Economics minister Heizo Takenaka reiterated Friday that while the radical fiscal and economic reform program adopted Thursday will bring two to three years of painful adjustments, Japan's future will brighten as a result.