Definition of darken in English:



  • 1Make or become dark or darker.

    [no object] ‘the sky was darkening rapidly’
    [with object] ‘darken the eyebrows with black powder’
    ‘a darkened room’
    • ‘Heavy curtains hanging over the windows darkened the room.’
    • ‘Rebecca drew curtains over one of the windows, darkening the room considerably.’
    • ‘The room darkened as the fire faded into glowing embers.’
    • ‘As soon as they entered, the nurse crossed the room and closed the blinds, darkening the room to a gentle glow.’
    • ‘The man chuckled, slung an arm across the little girl's shoulder, and together, watched as the last streaks began to fade in the rapidly darkening sky.’
    • ‘The sky was darkening, clouds turning deeper shades of purple, red, and blue.’
    • ‘Jeanna opened her eyes to see the sky had darkened to a dark slate, and the wind whipped mercilessly at the houses and plants around her.’
    • ‘The room darkened again as a cloud passed in front of the moon.’
    • ‘It was here the new Carlow confidence shone like the sun breaking through after rapidly darkening skies which almost called for floodlighting.’
    • ‘As the obscuration of the Sun increases the sky darkens, although it never gets as black as dead of night.’
    • ‘An infusion of sage or rosemary is also used in hair care as it can add shine to dark hair and, when mixed with black tea, can darken dark hair.’
    • ‘Melanie drew the curtains, darkening the room.’
    • ‘If your bedroom cannot be darkened, use another room for sleeping.’
    • ‘I turn and see that the sun is now gone, and the sky is darkening rapidly.’
    • ‘In August 1999 the skies above Swindon were darkened during a total solar eclipse.’
    • ‘The sun had begun to set outside and my living room was darkening quickly.’
    • ‘Casey clicked off the light and the room was completely darkened.’
    • ‘And then, as the sky slowly darkens, dark silhouettes slowly start wandering along the city-centre sidewalks.’
    • ‘Scott turned slightly while she was still in his arms and shut the door behind them then reaching for the light switch the room darkened around them.’
    • ‘I lay in his arms afterwards, the room darkening slowly as the afternoon died away.’
    grow dark, grow darker, blacken, grow black, grow blacker, dim, grow dim, cloud over, lour
    make dark, make darker, blacken, make black, make blacker, make dim, shade, eclipse, fog, obscure
    View synonyms
  • 2Make or become angry, unhappy, or gloomy.

    [no object] ‘his mood darkened’
    [with object] ‘the abuse darkened the rest of their lives’
    • ‘Grey skies had seen the floodlights switched on before noon but nothing could darken the mood of optimism which swirled around the transformed Station View prior to kick off.’
    • ‘If anything more darkens the mood of our brooding Chancellor it is warnings such as these.’
    • ‘I'm pretty sure the only way to darken the mood at a funeral is to have something more tragic happen during one.’
    • ‘All this bad news is darkening the mood of company executives.’
    • ‘The large nurse was standing in the doorway, one hand resting on her wide hips, and a snarl darkening her face.’
    • ‘I was enjoying the quiet of which I got so little, and being bothered by my mentor would only darken my mood.’
    • ‘In truth, it was another wobble with his three wood which had darkened Woosnam's mood.’
    • ‘While the attacks darkened the mood of our country, I am heartened to know that the core values of Americans remain strong.’
    • ‘Over 200 of these are given over to vituperation against Tesco, in which the reviewer admits, ‘even driving past Tesco darkens my mood’.’
    • ‘Paterson's attempt to brighten Heikkinen's outlook last term only seemed to darken the midfielder's mood further.’
    • ‘In his point of view then sixteen was such serious age and nothing could darken his mood.’
    • ‘A funeral was oppressive and chilly whether it was held in summer or winter, and it always served to darken my mood and make me miserable no matter what relation I was to the deceased.’
    • ‘Serai curled her lips and darkened her brow to show she was angry.’
    • ‘I'm back at work tomorrow night and just the thought of it is like a cloud descending over me, closing me in and darkening my mood.’
    • ‘The economic downturns in 1920 and 1921 darkened the public mood.’
    • ‘More invitingly, there are a good few gnashing epics where guitars and keyboard atmospherics collude to darken an already black mood.’
    • ‘Nor are any of them particularly likeable, which allows a comic mood to prevail even when events darken - Laurence's death, for example, is more farcical than it is tragic.’
    • ‘Rhian thought of saying something to cheer the girl up, but her exchange with Gina had momentarily darkened her mood.’
    • ‘Em shook her head, her thoughts darkening her mood once again.’
    • ‘Caidryn laughs bitterly, the angry bruise on her face darkening her features even further.’
    become gloomy, make gloomy, become angry, make angry, become unhappy, make unhappy, become annoyed, make annoyed, become depressed, make depressed, cast down, become cast down, deject, become dejected, weigh down, oppress, dampen the spirits of, become dispirited, make dispirited, become troubled, make troubled, cast a pall over, blacken, look black, sadden
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1[no object](of someone's eyes or expression) show anger, sorrow, or another strong negative emotion.
      ‘Guy's expression darkened’
      • ‘Subconsciously, I noticed his eyes darkening, to almost a blood red colour.’
      • ‘His eyes darkened and grew cold as his fists balled up.’
      • ‘I arched my back into him, and his eyes darkened dangerously.’
      • ‘Mark's eyes darkened with anger, and it was obvious that only his iron control over his emotions kept him from striking him.’
      • ‘She nearly yelled, her clear green eyes darkening with anger.’
      • ‘His eyes darkened in anger as he was shouting at me.’
      • ‘Elizabeth's jaw dropped and her brows knitted together, her green-blue eyes darkening like thunderclouds.’
      • ‘He stared down at her, his deep brown eyes darkening with barely restrained emotion.’
      • ‘The boy's eyes darkened with anger, ‘That's my job’ he said and snatched the coins she had in her hands.’
      • ‘Ethan's grin was wide, though his eyes darkened in pent up anger, and fear.’
      • ‘His brilliant blue eyes would darken and the expression on his face became intense just before he would kiss her.’
      • ‘His green eyes darkened and his expression turned stony.’
      • ‘Her pale eyes darkened as she narrowed them suspiciously.’
      • ‘Her eyes darkened with the first stirrings of anger.’
      • ‘Scott could see her eyes darkening with anger.’
      • ‘His sadness was gradually melting into anger; I could see his eyes darkening.’
      • ‘His eyes darkened, his disdainful expression frozen in place.’
      • ‘However, his eyes had darkened dangerously and she could not tell with what emotion.’
      • ‘‘Do not dare to speak to me in such a way,’ he said at last, his blue eyes darkening as he spoke.’
      • ‘He looked impassive, but his blue eyes had darkened in controlled anger.’
    2. 2.2[with object](of anger, sorrow, etc.) show in (someone's eyes or expression)
      ‘misery darkened her gaze’
      • ‘He was too busy checking up on Rhys to see the impatience that darkened his eyes.’
      • ‘Regret darkened his brown eyes, making them appear almost black, as he lifted his gaze to Chelsea's.’
      • ‘Vicki stepped off the overflowing bus with a sigh, the forlorn glaze that had darkened Wil's eyes setting heavy on her heart.’
      • ‘A cloud of confusion darkened Vicki's eyes and she kicked a rock.’
      • ‘She gasped, staring at him, shock and pain darkening her eyes.’
      • ‘A scowl darkened his brown eyes to black as he glared ahead.’
      • ‘Andy released a deep breath and looked back out the front window, hurt darkening her eyes.’
      • ‘The color darkens his eyes just slightly without causing him to look any paler.’
      • ‘He looked up, concern darkening his young eyes.’
      • ‘He heard some whispering in the background and a glare darkened his eyes.’
      • ‘Andy nodded, the concerned expression still darkening her blue eyes.’
      • ‘Confusion darkened her eyes and lowered her brows in a frown.’
      • ‘He regularly visited her grave and the mention of her name always caused a flicker of intense sadness to darken his eyes.’
      • ‘Alternating her glance between the two, confusion darkened her blue eyes.’
      • ‘Annoyance darkened her brown eyes as she glared at the vicious, little black ball of fur.’
      • ‘A frown darkened the girls' eyes and they brought the page of confusing pictures up closer to their faces.’
      • ‘An unidentifiable emotion darkened his eyes so that they were almost black.’
      • ‘Vicki looked up, confusion darkening her eyes.’
      • ‘I worried for Brent because he was my only friend in Arlington and I understood the pain that darkened his eyes.’
      • ‘Victor sits back, annoyance darkening his gaze.’