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leaven

leav·en

leaven

 
 
pronunciation:
le vn
parts of speech:
noun, transitive verb
part of speech: noun
definition 1: a substance, such as yeast, that produces fermentation in a dough or batter and causes it to rise.
definition 2: an element that has a subtle, enlivening, or modifying effect; leavening.
the leaven of humor
 
part of speech: transitive verb
inflections: leavened, leavening, leavens
definition 1: to produce fermentation in.
The dough is leavened with yeast.
definition 2: to enliven or change with a subtle, pervasive influence.
The story is leavened by her sense of comic irony.