lighten

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lighten (one's) wallet

1. To spend a large amount of money. (When speaking of one's own actions.) My sister loves to shop. She's always out looking for new ways to lighten her wallet.
2. To take money from someone; to cause someone to spend a significant amount of money. (When speaking of someone or something acting on another person.) Sure, it's a nice hotel, but it will lighten your wallet faster than you can say "overpriced." I'm always wary of souvenir merchants in foreign cities, whose sole objective is to lighten travelers' wallets.
See also: lighten, wallet

lighten (one's) load

To help make something less difficult, upsetting, or overwhelming for one. Thankfully my wife's family will be there when we move to help lighten our load a bit. I'm so sorry for your loss, Jen. If there's anything we can do to lighten your load, please don't hesitate to ask.
See also: lighten, load

lighten the load

To help make something less difficult, upsetting, or overwhelming for one. Thankfully my wife's family will be there when we move to help lighten the load a bit. I'm so sorry for your loss, Jen. If there's anything we can do to lighten the load, please don't hesitate to ask.
See also: lighten, load

lighten up

1. To brighten something in color. I think some new highlights will lighten up your hair and really refresh your look.
2. To act less seriously or sternly. In this usage, "lighten up" is a set phrase. A: "I think he definitely needs to be grounded." B: "Oh, lighten up—it's not like you never made stupid mistakes as a kid."
3. To cause someone or something to become less serious or stern. It's a funeral—nothing you do will lighten up the mood.
See also: lighten, up

lighten something up

to make something lighter or brighter. Some white paint will lighten this room up a lot. The sunlight came in and lightened up the kitchen.
See also: lighten, up

lighten up

to become lighter or brighter. (See also lighten up (on someone or something).) We applied a new coat of white paint to the walls, and the room lightened up considerably. The sky is beginning to lighten up a little.
See also: lighten, up

lighten up (on someone or something)

to be less rough and demanding or rude with someone or something. Please lighten up on her. You are being very cruel. You are too harsh. Lighten up.
See also: lighten, up

lighten up

Become or cause to become less serious or gloomy, and more cheerful. For example, Lighten up, Sam-it'll turn out all right. This slangy expression transfers reducing a physical weight to a change of mood or attitude.
See also: lighten, up

lighten up

v.
1. To make something appear lighter in shade: The artist lightened up the paint by mixing in some white. Those mirrors really lighten the room up.
2. To become lighter in shade: These pants are too dark now, but they will lighten up after they've been washed a lot.
3. To make something more pleasant and less serious or depressing: The jokes lightened up the tone of the meeting. I didn't mean to be disrespectful—I was just trying to lighten things up.
4. To take matters less seriously: Everything will work out fine, so stop worrying and lighten up.
See also: lighten, up

lighten up

Don’t be so serious, relax. Originally, this slangy imperative, dating from the 1940s, meant to calm down, but in succeeding decades it took on its present meaning. Tracy Kidder had it in Among Schoolchildren (1989): “Me and my precious schedules . . . I’ve got to lighten up. Chill out.”
See also: lighten, up
References in periodicals archive ?
This new formulation not only heals pimples, but also promises to lighten those horrific pimple scars.
Kojic acid has long been used in Japan since the '80s because of its capacity to lighten skin.
A centuries old practice, skin lightening is the use of injections, topical ointments, creams, lotions, gels, soaps, oral formulations, and household chemicals to de-pigment or lighten skin complexion, produce an even skin tone, and remove blemishes, freckles, or scars (de Souza 2008: 28; Jablonski 2012; Street, Gaska, Lewis, and Wilson 2014: 53).
There are many different reasons that individuals may seek to lighten their skin (Hunter 2011: 149).
Beyond the factors of beauty and marriage, individuals may lighten skin in order to increase job market competitiveness, particularly since those with dark skin or other features different from light, white standardized ideals have often faced discrimination in the workplace (Glenn 2008; Morales 2009; Perry 2006).
Additionally, in India, white skin has long been associated with the country's traditional rulers and powerful groups, from the Aryans to British colonialists, as well as with the upper castes, while in countries as disparate as Senegal and the Philippines, many seek to lighten their skin as a way to elevate their social standing (Deshpande 2002; Saint Louis 2010).
In Ghana, for example, there are countless billboard advertisements on how to get "perfect white" skin (Coopernov 2016), while in Jamaica, dancehall songs and lyrics often praise those who lighten their skin (Charles 2011a).
However, a study by Charles (2003) found that mean self-esteem scores for both skin bleachers and non-skin bleachers were comparable, suggesting that self-esteem does not fully explain the desire to lighten skin.