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blackmail

play
noun black·mail \ˈblak-ˌmāl\

Simple Definition of blackmail

  • : the crime of threatening to tell secret information about someone unless the person being threatened gives you money or does what you want

  • : something (such as money) that is received through blackmail

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of blackmail

  1. 1 :  a tribute anciently exacted on the Scottish border by plundering chiefs in exchange for immunity from pillage

  2. 2 a :  extortion or coercion by threats especially of public exposure or criminal prosecution b :  the payment that is extorted

blackmail transitive verb
blackmailer noun

Examples of blackmail in a sentence

  1. She was a victim of blackmail.

  2. The servant extorted blackmail from her employer.



Origin of blackmail

black + 1mail


First Known Use: 1552



BLACKMAIL Defined for Kids

1

blackmail

play
noun black·mail \ˈblak-ˌmāl\

Definition of blackmail for Students

  1. 1 :  the act of forcing someone to do or pay something by threatening to reveal a secret

  2. 2 :  something (as money) obtained by threatening to reveal a secret




2

blackmail

play
verb black·mail

Definition of blackmail for Students

blackmailedblackmailing

  1. :  to threaten to reveal a secret unless something is done (as paying money)

blackmailer noun



Law Dictionary

blackmail

play
noun black·mail \ˈblak-ˌmāl\

Legal Definition of blackmail

  1. :  extortion or coercion by often written threats esp. of public exposure, physical harm, or criminal prosecution

blackmail transitive verb
blackmailer \-ˌmā-lər\ noun


Origin of blackmail

originally, payment extorted from farmers in Scotland and northern England, from black + dialectal mail payment, rent



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