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

Other Words from darken

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

Synonyms & Antonyms for darken



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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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web Typically under home production only a few hands mature and the rest of the fruits darken and gradually drop from the stalks before those that remain ripen. Tom Maccubbin, Orlando Sentinel, 14 May 2022 For example, an autistic individual may want to darken the room and shut their office door to reduce sensory input. Ronit Molko, Forbes, 3 Nov. 2021 When your skin is exposed to UV light, your body tries to protect itself by making melanin, the dark pigment in the outer layer of your skin, which causes your skin to darken a bit, according to the Mayo Clinic. Korin Miller, SELF, 6 May 2022 Black peppercorns are simply green peppercorns that have been blanched and then dried, which causes the outer layer of the fruit to darken to its characteristic brown-black color. Washington Post, 11 Feb. 2022 Whatever the consequences for Russia of the sweeping new sanctions that President Biden announced Tuesday, the invasion of Ukraine and ensuing global standoff are likely to further darken the outlook for the U.S. economy. Los Angeles Times, 23 Feb. 2022 Pink blooms on this upright sedum darken to wine-red from August to October on reddish stems. Thad Orr, Better Homes & Gardens, 3 Nov. 2021 Though the Greenland ice sheet is more than a mile thick at its center, rain can darken the surface, causing the ice to absorb more of the sun's heat, Moon said. Sarah Kaplan, BostonGlobe.com, 14 Dec. 2021 The 1961 film largely featured whites in brownface; even Puerto Rican Rita Moreno was forced to artificially darken her skin. Stuart Miller, Variety, 11 Mar. 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.

First Known Use of darken

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

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Time Traveler for darken

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near darken

dark current


dark energy

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Statistics for darken

Last Updated

24 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Darken.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/darken. Accessed 26 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for darken


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.

More from Merriam-Webster on darken

Nglish: Translation of darken for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of darken for Arabic Speakers


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