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 Refrigerate the stuffed poblanos and the sauce separately for up to 3 days; the sauce may darken over time. Bill Esparza, Washington Post, 7 Sep. 2022 When the feature is active, any wallpapers with a depth effect will be removed and the screen will darken. Chris Smith, BGR, 4 Sep. 2022 The plane’s interior boasted a better cabin climate to reduce jet lag, big overhead bins and large windows that darken with the touch of a button rather than a pull-down shade. Andrew Tangel, WSJ, 26 June 2022 When the vegetables begin to darken just slightly at the edges, take the pot off the heat. Kitty Greenwald, WSJ, 17 Aug. 2022 The residents of Kharkiv were required by emergency decree to darken their homes at night, so as not to provide Russian planes or artillerists with targets. James Verini, New York Times, 19 May 2022 Add the onion, season with 1/4 teaspoon of salt and several grinds of black pepper and cook, stirring, until the onion starts to darken at the edges, about 6 minutes. Washington Post, 21 Dec. 2021 The outlook for the rest of the year may darken further. New York Times, 29 Apr. 2022 He's only allowed to write stories that will darken the world. Samantha Highfill, EW.com, 18 July 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

21 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Darken.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/darken. Accessed 7 Oct. 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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