Definition of blacken in English:

blacken

verb

  • 1Make or become black or dark, especially as a result of burning, decay, or bruising.

    with object ‘stone blackened by the soot of ages’
    no object ‘he set light to the paper, watching the end blacken as it burned’
    • ‘Walking along the wet roads, empty apart from small gaggles of students, past big buildings of dark grey stone blackened by rain.’
    • ‘Halve and deseed the peppers and place, with rounded sides uppermost, under a preheated grill until the skins blacken.’
    • ‘He smiled slowly at her expression, revealing blackened teeth.’
    • ‘There were a lot missing words, where the paper had been blackened and burned away.’
    • ‘Beads of murky water dripped down stone walls blackened by grime, and the floor was cold gray stone.’
    • ‘Over the hours bruises had formed along the side of her face and her left eye was blackened.’
    • ‘Kels asked him, smiling to reveal a row of soot blackened teeth.’
    • ‘Meanwhile place the peppers under a grill and cook, turning until blistered and blackened all over.’
    • ‘The structure was badly damaged and blackened but remained standing.’
    • ‘The material became dark, paint blackened, as I rubbed harder, more and more vigorously.’
    • ‘The gang of older boys, eighth graders, had found him out there, and when Jinx found him, he had bruises across his face and one of his eyes was blackened.’
    • ‘The once snow-white stones were now blackened by a combination of being burnt out and years of built-up dirt and dust, casting a midnight shadow over the landscape.’
    • ‘His blue eyes blacken and I watch aghast, as he buries his face in his hands with a barely stifled groan.’
    • ‘Let me first say that this work blackens your heart and destroys everything good and decent in your sole.’
    • ‘This is never more apparent than when the light fails and huge flocks of rooks and crows blacken the sky as they come home to roost, their cries echoing eerily across the marsh.’
    • ‘Leave the cannas in the ground until frost blackens the foliage.’
    • ‘He pulled her to him, and hit her twice across the face, blackening her right eye, and bruising her cheek.’
    • ‘England's skies blacken as coal makes the industrial revolution possible.’
    • ‘The ground itself was blackened and burned, and was several feet lower than it should have been.’
    • ‘He blackened the wood by burning it with the heated piece of iron; this enabled him to create the details of his creations.’
    • ‘Flames leapt up around them, black smoke stained the sky, blackened out the moon.’
    make black, black, darken, make dark, make darker
    become black, grow black, darken, dim, grow dim, cloud over
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1with object Dye or colour (the face or hair) black for camouflage or cosmetic effect.
      ‘paras in full combat gear with blackened faces’
      • ‘Also at this time they blackened their women's teeth to make them more beautiful.’
      • ‘Their faces were blackened, and pointed sheepskin or paper caps were clapped on their heads.’
      • ‘It is believed that ancient Hawaiians blackened their faces and limbs when in mourning.’
      • ‘He then proceeded to blacken his face entirely while trying to remember the words to the song.’
      • ‘The night before Bonfire Night was once known as Mischief Night, when children would blacken their faces and play pranks.’
      • ‘Families mourned for periods of up to one year, with some family members expressing grief by blackening their faces, chests, and hands with charcoal and maintaining an unkempt appearance.’
      • ‘They also paint their bodies and blacken their teeth.’
      • ‘I blackened my teeth, coloured them against the advice of my dentist.’
      • ‘Jack grinned then, his teeth flashing white through the charcoal that blackened his face.’
      • ‘I brushed my hand through his newly blackened hair.’
      • ‘In battle men may blacken their skin similar to the cassowary's colouration.’
      • ‘They burn cork and blacken their faces, painting on big red lips, donning white gloves.’
      • ‘Children also used to blacken their faces, as Guy Fawkes and his fellow conspirators might have done.’
      • ‘Perhaps it was because He Shou Wu could fetch a better retail price than other herbs so it remained the herb of choice for blackening the hair!’
      • ‘He wore a blood red bandana across his forehead, keeping back his blackened hair that lay mostly in a keep-back.’
      • ‘Young girls blackened their faces and hobbled like cripples to avoid molestation but it made no difference.’
      • ‘This went on until several men were hired to blacken their faces, hide, jump out and shout ‘boo!’’
      • ‘The herb was added as it can blacken hair and it will also add to the astringent quality of the formula.’
      • ‘Kevin confessed to having the same problem - light hair - but always got around it by blackening things up with mascara.’
      • ‘They had blackened each other's faces and then hers, pocketed their watches, reversed their caps.’
    2. 1.2with object Damage or destroy (someone's reputation) by speaking badly of them.
      ‘she won't thank you for blackening her husband's name’
      • ‘What is a well known is that Romans blackened the reputation of their enemies so their own ruthless barbarism might appear in a better light.’
      • ‘It became the most effective typological tool to blacken the Irish character and, through association, declare it unfit for self-government.’
      • ‘Having determined that they were unable to silence him, the government then set about blackening his reputation.’
      • ‘How much is this further blackening the reputation of the media?’
      • ‘Not only that, your personal credit rating is not blackened in Ireland by a business failure, providing you wrap up with Companies Office procedures.’
      • ‘This is an administration so wedded to spin and manipulation that it is seeking to blacken a decent man's reputation even as his body lies unburied.’
      • ‘After they were dead, their reputations were deliberately blackened by lawyers defending their killer.’
      • ‘The brothers believed that, while the inquiry seemed to clear Ministers of wrongdoing, it blackened their own reputation.’
      • ‘But a lot of innocent people had their names blackened and their careers damaged during the hunt.’
      • ‘Thus he cheerfully permitted his supporters to blacken his political opponents' reputations with false accusations and innuendo, but refused to use information about their private lives that would have destroyed them.’
      • ‘First they accused the film writer of plagiarism to blacken her name and destroy her credibility, then attacked the film script.’
      • ‘Although their faces were pixillated the family believe their names have been blackened by the arrests.’
      • ‘Yet on so little they had blackened a man's reputation.’
      • ‘Meanwhile, he will continue to haunt the north-western district, blackening the country's face all the more.’
      • ‘Fairly or not, the reputation of the world champion has forever been blackened by his association with drugs.’
      • ‘And they did a superb job of smearing them - his character has been totally blackened, and so has hers, to a degree.’
      • ‘Or could it have been, as he implied, jealous rivals who wanted to blacken his name and damage his business?’
      • ‘Since then he has done everything possible to politically destroy his opponent and blacken his name through a series of trumped up charges.’
      • ‘A Yorkshire historian is calling on the Queen to help to clear Richard III of the double child murder which has blackened his reputation for more than 500 years.’
      • ‘In your desire to blacken the reputation of this country, you have resorted to the dissemination of falsehoods, misrepresentations and innuendos without any factual basis.’
      sully, tarnish, blot, besmirch, drag through the mire, drag through the mud, stain, taint, smear, smudge, befoul, soil, contaminate, pollute, disgrace, dishonour, bring discredit to, injure, damage, spoil
      View synonyms

Pronunciation

blacken

/ˈblak(ə)n/