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

Windshield wipers swiped, rain rattled, dusk was darkened by clouds. Richard Brookhiser, National Review, "Weather Trends," 20 June 2019 The 61-year-old Democrat served nine years as mayor, the last three darkened by a public investigation into ethical lapses and conflicts of interest. Rebecca Lurye, courant.com, "A decade after his corruption scandal broke, Hartford weighs a second chance for Eddie Perez," 17 June 2019 Even with trade tensions and a shaky global environment darkening the U.S. outlook, the risk of a recession still seems low. Justin Lahart, WSJ, "Fed Stimulus Just Ain’t What It Used to Be," 17 June 2019 By the end of the 1700s, scientists had realized that silver chloride and silver nitrate would darken when exposed to light, a photochemical effect that would soon make photography possible. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Scientists found these old photographs contain metallic nanoparticles," 12 June 2019 Thankfully, eyewear companies share our worries, and brands have started offering blue light-filtering lenses to help protect your eyes from those never-darkening screens. Allure, "The 13 Coolest Blue-Light Glasses You Can Buy Online Right Now," 27 May 2019 On a recent morning, a persistent drizzle darkened the headstones and created puddles in the soggy grass. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column One: In a neglected cemetery lie black jockeys who helped create the Kentucky Derby," 2 May 2019 That increased blood flow can cause the labia to darken and even cause a slight change in shape. Kristi Kellogg, Glamour, "Your Vagina After Birth: 10 Things to Expect," 29 Apr. 2019 Lucrécia was strolling beside him, the small city darkening dizzily, the lights finally came on. Benjamin Moser, Harper's magazine, "The Indirect World," 10 Apr. 2019

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

23 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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