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

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Other Words from blacken

blackener \ ˈblak-​nər How to pronounce blackener (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
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Recent Examples on the Web Cleaning on the memorial’s tower, blackened by a century of steel mill pollution, revealed its true color: a light beige sandstone. Mary Kilpatrick, cleveland, "What the heck is happening to the Garfield monument in Cleveland’s Lake View Cemetery?," 6 Feb. 2020 Trump, his hands blackened by ink, started working his way through a mountainous stack of photos of him and Parnas at approximately 10 P.M., a White House source confirmed. Andy Borowitz, The New Yorker, "Trump Stays Up All Night with Sharpie Crossing Out Lev Parnas in Photos with Him," 16 Jan. 2020 Evans grew up in Australia, parts of which have been blackened by historic wildfires. Thomas Farragher,, "Fighting the fight against climate change," 13 Jan. 2020 The hills surrounding her home were blackened by fire, but the only damage to her home was the stench of smoke that was still wafting from room to room. Sarah Ravani,, "Kincade Fire: Rush of memories as residents return, see destroyed homes," 4 Nov. 2019 Their walls blackened and damaged in flames, neither can house asylum seekers at present, exacerbating the overcrowding problem. Hannah Beckler, The New Republic, "“It’s a Prison”," 14 Oct. 2019 In those rare cases—when there’s just hardened, blackened, caked-on stuff—Dahmen will reach for a rotary tool with an abrasive buffer before swapping the attachment for one with softer nylon bristles. Katherine Martinelli, Popular Science, "The key to cleaning copper cookware is probably in your fridge," 24 Jan. 2020 Special Achievement in Braking: Porsche Surface Coating Iron brake rotors blacken your wheels with filthy dust. Ezra Dyer, Popular Mechanics, "The 2019 Popular Mechanics Automotive Excellence Awards," 16 Apr. 2019 Wildfires have blackened more than 23,000 square miles so far, an area about the size of West Virginia. Wsj Staff, WSJ, "Wildfires have blackened more than 23,000 square miles so far," 5 Jan. 2020

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.

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First Known Use of blacken

14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

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Time Traveler for blacken

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for blacken

Last Updated

19 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Blacken.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Feb. 2020.

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How to pronounce blacken (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of blacken

: to make something dark or black or to become dark or black
: to hurt the reputation of (someone or something)


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.

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More from Merriam-Webster on blacken

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with blacken

Spanish Central: Translation of blacken

Nglish: Translation of blacken for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of blacken for Arabic Speakers

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