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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 ?
KUWAIT, Feb 21 (KUNA) -- In every national occasion "Souk Al-Mubarkiya" which considered the most important historic and heritage site in the country brightens with it's beautiful decorations which reflects the joy of national holidays.
In his popular 1954 book Guide to the Planets, Patrick Moore wrote: "Io sometimes shows peculiar fluctuations in brilliancy, and I once saw it brighten up strikingly in the space of a few hours for no apparent reason."
This great eye cream has light reflecting particles and mango extract to brighten.
It has been developed for anti-aging products and products to brighten the skin tone and increase skin radiance.
Bakoli, March 6 (ANI): Solar energy brightens up the lives of the villagers in a nondescript village in Uttar Pradesh state.
"It brightens up the city, and anything that brightens up the place is good, because it doesn't really look like the Capital of Culture."
HUNDREDS of hanging baskets brightened up a corner of Coventry at the weekend.
Founded in 1984, PRESENTS FOR PATIENTS is a holiday program designed to brighten Christmas for patients in nursing and personal care homes throughout Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio and West Virginia.
A close encounter with either the sun or Earth brightens a comet's appearance, but "it's unusual to have a close approach to both," says Brian G.
The new room opens the rear of the house, brightens its interior, and improves patio and garden access.
This system also claims to help visibly fade discoloration, increase skin firmness and prevent visible signs of aging, thanks to VITABRIGHTKX, a natural lightening complex that brightens skin without the harmful effects associated with hydroquinone, kojic acid or MAP.
What we are used to calling a supernova, a "new star" that brightens for days or weeks and then fades for months, is just a visible-light afterglow from the expanding debris.
May I add this will not discourage my uncle and he hopes that his lights and Christmas spirit brightens up most peoples Christmas.
Another great innovation from Avon is their Luminosity Brightening Complex SPF 15, which brightens up drab winter skin.
During this long period of evolution, known as the main sequence, it slowly but steadily brightens.