black·​en | \ ˈbla-kən How to pronounce blacken (audio) \
blackened; blackening\ ˈblak-​niŋ How to pronounce blacken (audio) , ˈbla-​kə-​ \

Definition of blacken

intransitive verb

: to become dark or black the sky blackens

transitive verb

1 : to make black
2 : defame, sully blackened her reputation

Other Words from blacken

blackener \ ˈblak-​nər How to pronounce blacken (audio) , ˈbla-​kə-​ \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for blacken



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Examples of blacken in a Sentence

Fire had blackened the field. The sky blackened as the storm approached. Their false accusations failed to blacken my reputation. a presidency blackened by scandal
Recent Examples on the Web At the same time, in a somewhat obvious parallel, Nang’s father’s toe begins to blacken with gangrene that threatens to creep up his leg. Jessica Kiang, Variety, 22 Sep. 2021 For years, Williams has worn sunglasses at all hours, as if to blacken her vision. Katy Waldman, The New Yorker, 20 Sep. 2021 Because of the high sugar content, the blends will blacken and burn into the meat if left too long in the grill or in the oven. Chuck Blount, San Antonio Express-News, 14 Sep. 2021 Even though the Forest Service had a crew on-scene on the first day, the East Fork Fire would wind up burning for 3½ months and blacken about 90,000 acres of the Ashley National Forest and neighboring tribal lands. Brian Maffly, The Salt Lake Tribune, 18 July 2021 The Class of ‘51 lived through World War II as grade schoolers; some remember having to blacken the windows of their houses for air raid drills. Christopher Arnott,, 18 June 2021 Moreover, the milk solids in butter can burn and blacken in excessive heat. Washington Post, 8 Mar. 2021 This is a land unsuited for human life, where temperatures dip below minus 50ºC in winter and where mosquitoes blacken the skies in summer. The Economist, 16 Dec. 2020 Crews are still monitoring the area around the observatory, given that this group of wildfires, known as the SCU Lightning Complex, continues to blacken the region. Matt Simon, Wired, 26 Aug. 2020 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'blacken.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of blacken

14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

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The first known use of blacken was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near blacken

black elderberry


black end

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Cite this Entry

“Blacken.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for blacken


black·​en | \ ˈbla-kən How to pronounce blacken (audio) \
blackened; blackening

Kids Definition of blacken

1 : to make or become dark or black The storm blackened the sky.
2 : spoil entry 1 sense 2 The scandal will blacken his reputation.

More from Merriam-Webster on blacken

Nglish: Translation of blacken for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of blacken for Arabic Speakers


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