Try Our Apps


The Best Internet Slang


[blak-uh n] /ˈblæk ən/
verb (used with object)
to make black; darken.
to speak evil of; defame:
to blacken a person's reputation.
verb (used without object)
to grow or become black.
Origin of blacken
Middle English word dating back to 1250-1300; See origin at black, -en1
Related forms
blackener, noun
2. denigrate, smear, slander, villify, libel, traduce, calumniate. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for blacken
Historical Examples
  • You shall tarnish the memory of our father and blacken the honor of our mother.

    A Son of Hagar

    Sir Hall Caine
  • But already his swollen tongue was beginning to blacken in his mouth.

    Bloom of Cactus Robert Ames Bennet
  • blacken your face and fast really, that the Master of Life may have pity on you and me, and on us all.

    Old Mackinaw W. P. Strickland.
  • I will not blacken any man's reputation to further my own interests.

    The Dop Doctor

    Clotilde Inez Mary Graves
  • A woman I was introduced to here in London once tried to blacken it.

    The Dop Doctor

    Clotilde Inez Mary Graves
  • I'll no let any one blacken the memory o' Thomas Macalister.

    Border Ghost Stories Howard Pease
  • It will burn and blacken outside, which is of no consequence.

    Choice Cookery Catherine Owen
  • It is best not to use an iron point for this, as iron is apt to blacken the leather.

  • Why cannot they blacken their faces and lie in a corner with a crust of bread?

    The Eyes of Asia Rudyard Kipling
  • Tear me away, I say: the veins rise; they blacken; they are filling with new blood.

    Rookwood William Harrison Ainsworth
British Dictionary definitions for blacken


to make or become black or dirty
(transitive) to defame; slander (esp in the phrase blacken someone's name)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for blacken

c.1200, "become black or dark;" early 14c., "make black, darken, dye (hair);" see black + -en (1). Figurative sense of "to besmirch" (with dishonor, etc.) is from early 15c. Related: Blackened; blackening.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for blacken

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for blacken

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for blacken