Definition of darken in English:

darken

verb

  • 1Make or become dark or darker.

    no object ‘the sky was darkening rapidly’
    with object ‘darken the eyebrows with black powder’
    ‘a darkened room’
    • ‘As the obscuration of the Sun increases the sky darkens, although it never gets as black as dead of night.’
    • ‘Heavy curtains hanging over the windows darkened the room.’
    • ‘In August 1999 the skies above Swindon were darkened during a total solar eclipse.’
    • ‘Melanie drew the curtains, darkening the room.’
    • ‘Casey clicked off the light and the room was completely darkened.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The room darkened as the fire faded into glowing embers.’
    • ‘Rebecca drew curtains over one of the windows, darkening the room considerably.’
    • ‘And then, as the sky slowly darkens, dark silhouettes slowly start wandering along the city-centre sidewalks.’
    • ‘It was here the new Carlow confidence shone like the sun breaking through after rapidly darkening skies which almost called for floodlighting.’
    • ‘The sun had begun to set outside and my living room was darkening quickly.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I turn and see that the sun is now gone, and the sky is darkening rapidly.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘If your bedroom cannot be darkened, use another room for sleeping.’
    • ‘The sky was darkening, clouds turning deeper shades of purple, red, and blue.’
    • ‘I lay in his arms afterwards, the room darkening slowly as the afternoon died away.’
    • ‘The room darkened again as a cloud passed in front of the moon.’
    • ‘As soon as they entered, the nurse crossed the room and closed the blinds, darkening the room to a gentle glow.’
    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’
    • ‘Paterson's attempt to brighten Heikkinen's outlook last term only seemed to darken the midfielder's mood further.’
    • ‘After Chile called for a 45 day deadline the mood darkened at the thought of another month and a half in this dump, waiting and waiting.’
    • ‘Over 200 of these are given over to vituperation against Tesco, in which the reviewer admits, ‘even driving past Tesco darkens my mood’.’
    • ‘His mood suddenly darkened as if remembering something painful.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘In truth, it was another wobble with his three wood which had darkened Woosnam's mood.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘When I ask about how he reached the decision to leave South Africa and play for England his mood darkens further. ‘What, again?’’
    • ‘But his mood darkened as time went on and his eldest daughter remained uncontactable.’
    • ‘As soon as she stepped into the room Kim felt her mood darken, it was her mum, Kay.’
    • ‘While the attacks darkened the mood of our country, I am heartened to know that the core values of Americans remain strong.’
    • ‘Brett's features darkened and he nodded, looking completely unhappy with the news.’
    • ‘If anything more darkens the mood of our brooding Chancellor it is warnings such as these.’
    • ‘Rhian thought of saying something to cheer the girl up, but her exchange with Gina had momentarily darkened her 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.’
    • ‘Jacynthia and Lark's moods had darkened quickly and they sulked while taking notes.’
    • ‘His eyes darkened as he surveyed me with a tiny bit of mistrust, ‘You going to be helping the king.’’
    • ‘More invitingly, there are a good few gnashing epics where guitars and keyboard atmospherics collude to darken an already black mood.’
    • ‘Sara's blue eyes darkened as she watched his expression become somewhat haunted.’
    • ‘I was enjoying the quiet of which I got so little, and being bothered by my mentor would only darken my mood.’
    • ‘The mood at St James' Park darkened as Newcastle sunk to a 1-defeat to Tottenham.’
    • ‘Caidryn laughs bitterly, the angry bruise on her face darkening her features even further.’
    • ‘His thoughts darkened rapidly as his fingers continued to itch.’
    • ‘A heavy depression fell upon the air as the mood darkened.’
    • ‘Serai curled her lips and darkened her brow to show she was angry.’
    • ‘The Rovers did not miss Peter's signal, and their mood seemed to darken.’
    • ‘Em shook her head, her thoughts darkening her mood once again.’
    • ‘In his point of view then sixteen was such serious age and nothing could darken his mood.’
    • ‘The large nurse was standing in the doorway, one hand resting on her wide hips, and a snarl darkening her face.’
    • ‘Doyle didn't laugh; his mood had abruptly darkened again, bleaker even than it had been.’
    • ‘His mood darkened, though, when Dougal levelled the teams again 11 minutes later by inexplicably waving a red at McIntyre.’
    • ‘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 professor's eyes went to the rest of the class, and the atmosphere seemed to darken slightly.’
    • ‘He sighed slightly, his improved mood darkening at the memory of the girl's peril.’
    • ‘The economic downturns in 1920 and 1921 darkened the public mood.’
    • ‘Through his words, I could feel his mood darken.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘But her face was pale and ashen, and her eyes darkened with worries.’
    • ‘I've never known a holiday to be spoiled, or even darkened, by an argument, by tensions that crackle and erupt in sharp words.’
    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. 2.1no object (of someone's eyes or expression) show anger, sorrow, or another strong negative emotion.
      ‘Guy's expression darkened’
      • ‘His green eyes darkened and his expression turned stony.’
      • ‘Scott could see her eyes darkening with anger.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘However, his eyes had darkened dangerously and she could not tell with what emotion.’
      • ‘I arched my back into him, and his eyes darkened dangerously.’
      • ‘Ethan's grin was wide, though his eyes darkened in pent up anger, and fear.’
      • ‘Her pale eyes darkened as she narrowed them suspiciously.’
      • ‘His sadness was gradually melting into anger; I could see his eyes darkening.’
      • ‘His eyes darkened in anger as he was shouting at me.’
      • ‘Her eyes darkened with the first stirrings of anger.’
      • ‘Elizabeth's jaw dropped and her brows knitted together, her green-blue eyes darkening like thunderclouds.’
      • ‘Subconsciously, I noticed his eyes darkening, to almost a blood red colour.’
      • ‘His brilliant blue eyes would darken and the expression on his face became intense just before he would kiss her.’
      • ‘He stared down at her, his deep brown eyes darkening with barely restrained emotion.’
      • ‘He looked impassive, but his blue eyes had darkened in controlled anger.’
      • ‘His eyes darkened, his disdainful expression frozen in place.’
      • ‘The boy's eyes darkened with anger, ‘That's my job’ he said and snatched the coins she had in her hands.’
      • ‘His eyes darkened and grew cold as his fists balled up.’
      • ‘‘Do not dare to speak to me in such a way,’ he said at last, his blue eyes darkening as he spoke.’
    2. 2.2with object (of anger, sorrow, etc.) show in (someone's eyes or expression)
      ‘misery darkened her gaze’
      • ‘I worried for Brent because he was my only friend in Arlington and I understood the pain that darkened his eyes.’
      • ‘A scowl darkened his brown eyes to black as he glared ahead.’
      • ‘Vicki looked up, confusion darkening her eyes.’
      • ‘An unidentifiable emotion darkened his eyes so that they were almost black.’
      • ‘A frown darkened the girls' eyes and they brought the page of confusing pictures up closer to their faces.’
      • ‘He heard some whispering in the background and a glare darkened his eyes.’
      • ‘The color darkens his eyes just slightly without causing him to look any paler.’
      • ‘Alternating her glance between the two, confusion darkened her blue eyes.’
      • ‘She gasped, staring at him, shock and pain darkening her eyes.’
      • ‘He looked up, concern darkening his young eyes.’
      • ‘Annoyance darkened her brown eyes as she glared at the vicious, little black ball of fur.’
      • ‘Vicki stepped off the overflowing bus with a sigh, the forlorn glaze that had darkened Wil's eyes setting heavy on her heart.’
      • ‘Confusion darkened her eyes and lowered her brows in a frown.’
      • ‘Regret darkened his brown eyes, making them appear almost black, as he lifted his gaze to Chelsea's.’
      • ‘He regularly visited her grave and the mention of her name always caused a flicker of intense sadness to darken his eyes.’
      • ‘Victor sits back, annoyance darkening his gaze.’
      • ‘Andy nodded, the concerned expression still darkening her blue eyes.’
      • ‘He was too busy checking up on Rhys to see the impatience that darkened his eyes.’
      • ‘A cloud of confusion darkened Vicki's eyes and she kicked a rock.’
      • ‘Andy released a deep breath and looked back out the front window, hurt darkening her eyes.’

Phrases

  • never darken someone's door

    • Keep away from someone's home permanently.

      ‘never darken my door again!’
      • ‘Well, if that's the standard, no wonder you feel abused and cheated every time you darken the door.’
      • ‘At times players and football clubs can delude themselves into believing that they are too good to go down and that relegation is a scenario that will never darken their door.’
      • ‘‘Come back with ‘Blood’ McNally, Red Grange, Ed Healey, Fats Henry, Jim Thorpe, and Roy Lyman,’ I barked at Standish, ‘or never darken my door again!’’
      • ‘If Scallon isn't driving those cattle, I'll never darken your door again, and I'll not bother you over the man again.’
      • ‘Well, Ms Claire Harper, Head of Marketing, it will ensure that your delivery men will never darken my door again because I will switch to one of your competitors.’

Pronunciation

darken

/ˈdɑːk(ə)n/