darken

verb

dark·​en ˈdär-kən How to pronounce darken (audio)
darkened; darkening ˈdär-kə-niŋ How to pronounce darken (audio)

intransitive verb

1
: to grow dark : become obscured
the skies were darkening
2
: to become gloomy
his mood darkened

transitive verb

1
: to make dark
2
: to make less clear : obscure
the financial crisis darkened the future of the company
3
: taint, tarnish
darkened his reputation
4
: to cast a gloom over
5
: to make of darker color
darkener noun

Example Sentences

The sky darkened and it started to rain. Her face darkens to a deep red when she gets angry. The wood will darken as it ages. The bad news darkened his mood. The last days of her life were darkened by illness. His mood darkened after he heard the bad news. See More
Recent Examples on the Web This is proving problematic, especially as companies tend to cut their marketing budget when economic conditions darken. Christiaan Hetzner, Fortune, 31 Oct. 2022 The food coloring also can darken your lips and teeth, but only slightly, not in a full-on zombie way. Mary Colurso | Mcolurso@al.com, al, 7 Oct. 2022 As the sky began to darken, Lauder’s son pushed his grandmother’s wheelchair through the water — which was now below his waist — while Lauder carried the other woman to a hotel. María Luisa Paúl, Washington Post, 3 Oct. 2022 As the sky began to darken, Lauder’s son pushed his grandmother’s wheelchair through the water - which was now below his waist - while Lauder carried the other woman to a hotel. María Luisa Paúl, Anchorage Daily News, 3 Oct. 2022 Barnes' supporters also questioned a mailer produced by the state Republican Party that uses a filter to darken one side of the flier, including a picture of Barnes. Daniel Bice, Journal Sentinel, 22 Sep. 2022 The same applies to other skin or health issues that darken the skin because ultimately, Dr. Tzu notes, the products are not targeting the source. Gabi Thorne, Allure, 20 Sep. 2022 The fallout from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on commodity prices continues to darken the continent’s prospects. William Pesek, Forbes, 12 Aug. 2022 There is a long history of controversy over political attack ads that darken the skin of Black candidates. Julia Wickstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 28 May 2022 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of darken was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near darken

Cite this Entry

“Darken.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/darken. Accessed 29 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition

darken

verb

dark·​en ˈdär-kən How to pronounce darken (audio)
darkened; darkening ˈdärk-(ə-)niŋ How to pronounce darken (audio)
1
: to make or grow dark or darker
the sky darkened
2
: to make or become gloomy or forbidding
her face darkened in anger
darkener noun

More from Merriam-Webster on darken

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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