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darken

[dahr-kuh n]
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verb (used with object)
  1. to make dark or darker.
  2. to make obscure.
  3. to make less white or clear in color.
  4. to make gloomy; sadden: He darkened the festivities by his presence.
  5. to make blind.
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verb (used without object)
  1. to become dark or darker.
  2. to become obscure.
  3. to become less white or clear in color.
  4. to grow clouded, as with gloom or anger.
  5. to become blind.
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Idioms
  1. darken someone's door, to come to visit; make an appearance: Never darken my door again!
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Origin of darken

First recorded in 1250–1300, darken is from the Middle English word derknen. See dark, -en1
Related formsdark·en·er, nounun·dark·en, verb (used with object)well-dark·ened, adjective

Synonyms

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4. depress, dispirit, blacken, deject.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for darken

darken

verb
  1. to make or become dark or darker
  2. to make or become gloomy, angry, or sadhis mood darkened
  3. darken someone's door (usually used with a negative) to visit someonenever darken my door again!
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Derived Formsdarkener, 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

Word Origin and History for darken

v.

c. 1300, "to make dark;" late 14c., "to become dark," from dark (adj.) + -en (1). The more usual verb in Middle English was simply dark, as it is in Chaucer and Shakespeare, and darken did not predominate until 17c. The Anglo-Saxons also had a verb sweorcan meaning "to grow dark." To darken someone's door (usually with a negative) is attested from 1729.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper