[ dahr-kuhn ]
See synonyms for: darkendarkeneddarkens on Thesaurus.com

verb (used with object)
  1. to make dark or darker.

  2. to make obscure.

  1. to make less white or clear in color.

  2. to make gloomy; sadden: He darkened the festivities by his presence.

  3. to make blind.

verb (used without object)
  1. to become dark or darker.

  2. to become obscure.

  1. to become less white or clear in color.

  2. to grow clouded, as with gloom or anger.

  3. to become blind.

Idioms about darken

  1. darken someone's door, to come to visit; make an appearance: Never darken my door again!

Origin of darken

First recorded in 1250–1300, darken is from the Middle English word derknen.See dark, -en1

Other words for darken

Other words from darken

  • dark·en·er, noun
  • un·dark·en, verb (used with object)
  • well-darkened, adjective

Words Nearby darken

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use darken in a sentence

  • The camera would pull in, the background would darken, and you would give a meta-commentary on the events.

  • If you only vote on how a person personally feels about abortion, you will never want her to darken your door.

    Sarah Palin's a Brainiac | Elaine Lafferty | October 27, 2008 | THE DAILY BEAST
  • When the sky began to darken, however, they desisted for a time, and set about making preparations for the coming storm.

    Hunting the Lions | R.M. Ballantyne
  • Gwynne's mind seemed to darken until only one luminous point confronted it, the visible tormented soul of his kinsman.

    Ancestors | Gertrude Atherton
  • But you must know, she said, looking at him with her sea-blue eyes, that in moments of tense emotion seemed to widen and darken.

    The Woman Gives | Owen Johnson
  • Over her shoulder peered her cousin Dave, and June saw his face darken while she looked.

  • His hair was a little less primrose coloured than it had been (pomatum does darken hair a little), but his eyes had not altered.

    Mushroom Town | Oliver Onions

British Dictionary definitions for darken


/ (ˈdɑːkən) /

  1. to make or become dark or darker

  2. to make or become gloomy, angry, or sad: his mood darkened

  1. darken someone's door (usually used with a negative) to visit someone: never darken my door again!

Derived forms of darken

  • darkener, noun

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