verb (used with object)

verb (used without object)


    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
Related formsdark·en·er, nounun·dark·en, verb (used with object)well-dark·ened, adjective

Synonyms for darken

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for darkened

Contemporary Examples of darkened

Historical Examples of darkened

  • The face of the Gascon darkened, and his eyes flashed with resentment.

    The White Company

    Arthur Conan Doyle

  • Behind him, in a darkened room, a barkeeper was wiping the bar with a clean cloth.


    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • She was very certain that her eyes had not been darkened as to lids or waxed as to lashes.

    Her Father's Daughter

    Gene Stratton-Porter

  • All the long, beautiful October went by, and still he lay in the darkened room.

    The Little Colonel

    Annie Fellows Johnston

  • But as she sat "hooking-in," the window was darkened, and involuntarily she lifted her eyes.

    Meadow Grass

    Alice Brown

British Dictionary definitions for darkened



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



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper