[ blak-uhn ]
See synonyms for: blackenblackened on

verb (used with object)
  1. to make black; darken.

  2. to speak evil of; defame: to blacken a person's reputation.

verb (used without object)
  1. to grow or become black.

Origin of blacken

Middle English word dating back to 1250–1300; see origin at black, -en1

Other words for blacken

Other words from blacken

  • black·en·er, noun

Words Nearby blacken Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use blacken in a sentence

  • Because of a quibble on his part this loathsome thing would ruin his future, dash his hopes to the ground, blacken his life.

    The Everlasting Arms | Joseph Hocking
  • The river pool commenced to blacken, while flowering rushes tossed their shivering heads and murmured.

    Menotah | Ernest G. Henham
  • "Too bad of you to blacken me to her like that," remarked the judge.

    The Opened Shutters | Clara Louise Burnham
  • They have done what they could to blacken his name; and to this day the shadow they have cast upon it in part remains.

  • These lawyers who are coming will blacken lots of paper, and talk a great deal of useless stuff.

    Columba | Prosper Merimee

British Dictionary definitions for blacken


/ (ˈblækən) /

  1. to make or become black or dirty

  2. (tr) 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