darken

verb
dark·​en | \ ˈdär-kən \
darkened; darkening\ ˈdär-​kə-​niŋ \

Definition of darken

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

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Other Words from darken

darkener \ -​kə-​nər \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for darken

Synonyms

gloom, glower, lower (also lour)

Antonyms

brighten, cheer (up), lighten, perk (up)

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Examples of darken in a Sentence

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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Its color results from the sebum's pigment, which darkens when exposed to air. Allure, "The Skin-Care Glossary: A Comprehensive Guide to Everything You Need to Know," 17 Aug. 2018 The cave was popular, but Nopparat, standing under a darkening sky, knew that the rainy season was no time to be in those endless, flood-prone passages. Shibani Mahtani, Washington Post, "‘Time is running out’: Inside the treacherous rescue of boys trapped in a Thai cave," 13 July 2018 Simulated views of a darkening Martian sky blotting out the sun from the Opportunity rover's point of view, with the right side simulating Opportunity's current view. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "Opportunity rover threatened by giant storm on Mars," 13 June 2018 The shiny gray of the elephants’ wet skin was the perfect foil for cobalt waters against a backdrop of yellows, pinks, and purples that flashed across the darkening sky. Meredith Bethune, Condé Nast Traveler, "Why You Should Go on a Boat Safari in Botswana," 23 Apr. 2018 Instagram has since become the brightest spot in Facebook’s darkening world. Dan Gallagher, WSJ, "Facebook Has Troubles With the Better Half," 25 Sep. 2018 Keep in mind that herbs added in advance can darken over time, so add some or all of them right before serving to maintain their bright color and fresh flavor. Becky Krystal, The Seattle Times, "How to take your fruit salad from boring to brilliant," 17 July 2018 The old city was gray, the buildings darkened with coal smoke, a grimy city like turn-of-the-century London. Bill Van Niekerken, San Francisco Chronicle, "1906 San Francisco earthquake: Old photos offer new glimpses of devastation," 18 Apr. 2018 Nobody knew why the fish appeared, the Observer reported in 1996, but fish-finder screens darkened with mile-wide schools of 150- to 300-pound fish. Bruce Henderson, charlotteobserver, "Retired general hooked an 877-pound giant off the Outer Banks. State record may follow. | Charlotte Observer," 19 Mar. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of darken

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

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Statistics for darken

Last Updated

3 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for darken

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

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More Definitions for darken

darken

verb

English Language Learners Definition of darken

: to make (something) dark or to become dark or darker in color
: to make (something) less happy or to become less happy

darken

verb
dark·​en | \ ˈdär-kən \
darkened; darkening

Kids Definition of darken

1 : to make or grow dark or darker … in three months the long Arctic night that lasted for sixty-six days would darken the top of the world.— Jean Craighead George, Julie of the Wolves
2 : to make or become gloomy Her mood darkened with the news.

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More from Merriam-Webster on darken

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with darken

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for darken

Spanish Central: Translation of darken

Nglish: Translation of darken for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of darken for Arabic Speakers

Comments on darken

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