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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

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
black·mail·er noun

Examples of blackmail

  1. She was a victim of blackmail.

  2. The servant extorted blackmail from her employer.



Origin of blackmail

black + 1mail


First Known Use: 1552




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