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 \ -​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

My feelings of regret darkened when I was called to an examining room. Laura Jean Baker, chicagotribune.com, "When a 'natural' mother considers plastic surgery," 29 Apr. 2018 Once the most common bird in North America, its flocks would darken the sky for hours. Randy Dotinga, The Christian Science Monitor, "In 'The Feather Thief,' a British bird burglary exposes a hidden world," 13 Apr. 2018 Bake for 25 minutes or until the pretzels start to darken. Jade Zimmerman, Country Living, "Pretzel-Chocolate-Pecan Slab Pie," 1 Nov. 2018 White men would darken their faces to create caricatures of black people, including large mouths, lips and eyes, woolly hair and coal-black skin. Jesse J. Holland, The Seattle Times, "Explaining the outrage: Racist history of American blackface began in the 1830s," 6 Feb. 2019 Later in the week, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi is expected to acknowledge the darkening outlook in the eurozone after the bank’s policy meeting Thursday. Georgi Kantchev, WSJ, "Global Stocks Weaken as China’s Growth Slows," 21 Jan. 2019 Black carbon particles from smoke plumes can darken Greenland’s vast ice sheet, contributing to more heat absorption and more melting. Megan Gannon, Scientific American, "Greenland's Biggest Fire Is a "Warning" for Its Future," 14 Apr. 2018 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

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

17 Mar 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

Comments on darken

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