darken

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

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 \ ˈdär-​kə-​nər How to pronounce darkener (audio) \ 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

Flocks of passenger pigeons once darkened the skies. David Wootton, WSJ, "‘Origin Story’ Review: The View From Above," 18 May 2018 As the final seconds ticked away on the U.S. national team's last World Cup qualifier this past October, the mood on the American bench darkened quicker than the Caribbean skies over the tiny stadium in Couva, Trinidad. Kevin Baxter, latimes.com, "As World Cup looms, U.S. players still lament loss in Trinidad," 7 May 2018 The skies over the capital were darkened yesterday by the smoke issuing from the Notre-Dame Cathedral, a marvel of Gothic architecture, and a phoenix-like symbol of resilience. Jay Mcinerney, Vogue, "Why, Oh Why Do I Love Paris? Jay McInerney Counted the Ways in a 1986 Story for Vogue, Republished Here in Solidarity With the French Capital, Where Notre-Dame Burned," 16 Apr. 2019 The data further darkens the outlook for the German economy, which has struggled to rebound from a contraction in the third quarter of last year. Paul Hannon, WSJ, "Germany Shows Symptoms of Deeper Economic Pain," 8 Jan. 2019 Property data released tomorrow will likely show house prices still rising, but the outlook is darkening, with land prices already showing pronounced weakness. Nathaniel Taplin, WSJ, "Deeper Cracks in China’s Housing Foundations," 14 Mar. 2019 Members of the House of Representatives won’t darken the door to the Capitol until Sept. 4. Chad Pergram, Fox News, "Government shutdown threat greets Senate's return to DC," 15 Aug. 2018 These storms, made up of fine dust that gets caught in the atmosphere, can darken daylight to a twilight stage and last months. Ashley May, USA TODAY, "Could humans live on Mars? 'Absolutely,' a NASA expert says," 11 June 2018 The warlight of the title is the London blackout of World War II, when familiar landscapes were darkened, mysterious, uncertain. New York Times, "Wartime Acts, Postwar Retribution: A Mother’s Risky Legacy," 7 June 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

9 Jun 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 How to pronounce darken (audio) \
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

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