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’
    • ‘I lay in his arms afterwards, the room darkening slowly as the afternoon died away.’
    • ‘Heavy curtains hanging over the windows darkened the room.’
    • ‘Melanie drew the curtains, darkening the room.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘As soon as they entered, the nurse crossed the room and closed the blinds, darkening the room to a gentle glow.’
    • ‘And then, as the sky slowly darkens, dark silhouettes slowly start wandering along the city-centre sidewalks.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘As the obscuration of the Sun increases the sky darkens, although it never gets as black as dead of night.’
    • ‘It was here the new Carlow confidence shone like the sun breaking through after rapidly darkening skies which almost called for floodlighting.’
    • ‘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 sun had begun to set outside and my living room was darkening quickly.’
    • ‘The room darkened again as a cloud passed in front of the moon.’
    • ‘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 turn and see that the sun is now gone, and the sky is darkening rapidly.’
    • ‘The room darkened as the fire faded into glowing embers.’
    • ‘In August 1999 the skies above Swindon were darkened during a total solar eclipse.’
    • ‘Casey clicked off the light and the room was completely darkened.’
    • ‘Rebecca drew curtains over one of the windows, darkening the room considerably.’
    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’
    • ‘His thoughts darkened rapidly as his fingers continued to itch.’
    • ‘Sara's blue eyes darkened as she watched his expression become somewhat haunted.’
    • ‘The mood at St James' Park darkened as Newcastle sunk to a 1-defeat to Tottenham.’
    • ‘More invitingly, there are a good few gnashing epics where guitars and keyboard atmospherics collude to darken an already black mood.’
    • ‘The economic downturns in 1920 and 1921 darkened the public 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.’
    • ‘He sighed slightly, his improved mood darkening at the memory of the girl's peril.’
    • ‘I've never known a holiday to be spoiled, or even darkened, by an argument, by tensions that crackle and erupt in sharp words.’
    • ‘Paterson's attempt to brighten Heikkinen's outlook last term only seemed to darken the midfielder's mood further.’
    • ‘Em shook her head, her thoughts darkening her mood once again.’
    • ‘When I ask about how he reached the decision to leave South Africa and play for England his mood darkens further. ‘What, again?’’
    • ‘A heavy depression fell upon the air as the mood darkened.’
    • ‘Brett's features darkened and he nodded, looking completely unhappy with the news.’
    • ‘The large nurse was standing in the doorway, one hand resting on her wide hips, and a snarl darkening her face.’
    • ‘Through his words, I could feel his mood darken.’
    • ‘If anything more darkens the mood of our brooding Chancellor it is warnings such as these.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Over 200 of these are given over to vituperation against Tesco, in which the reviewer admits, ‘even driving past Tesco darkens 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.’
    • ‘But his mood darkened as time went on and his eldest daughter remained uncontactable.’
    • ‘His mood suddenly darkened as if remembering something painful.’
    • ‘The Rovers did not miss Peter's signal, and their mood seemed to darken.’
    • ‘Doyle didn't laugh; his mood had abruptly darkened again, bleaker even than it had been.’
    • ‘Caidryn laughs bitterly, the angry bruise on her face darkening her features even further.’
    • ‘Rhian thought of saying something to cheer the girl up, but her exchange with Gina had momentarily darkened her mood.’
    • ‘His mood darkened, though, when Dougal levelled the teams again 11 minutes later by inexplicably waving a red at McIntyre.’
    • ‘Jacynthia and Lark's moods had darkened quickly and they sulked while taking notes.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I'm pretty sure the only way to darken the mood at a funeral is to have something more tragic happen during one.’
    • ‘His eyes darkened as he surveyed me with a tiny bit of mistrust, ‘You going to be helping the king.’’
    • ‘As soon as she stepped into the room Kim felt her mood darken, it was her mum, Kay.’
    • ‘But her face was pale and ashen, and her eyes darkened with worries.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I was enjoying the quiet of which I got so little, and being bothered by my mentor would only darken my 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.’
    • ‘In his point of view then sixteen was such serious age and nothing could darken his mood.’
    • ‘Serai curled her lips and darkened her brow to show she was angry.’
    • ‘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.’
    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’
      • ‘‘Do not dare to speak to me in such a way,’ he said at last, his blue eyes darkening as he spoke.’
      • ‘His green eyes darkened and his expression turned stony.’
      • ‘He looked impassive, but his blue eyes had darkened in controlled anger.’
      • ‘The boy's eyes darkened with anger, ‘That's my job’ he said and snatched the coins she had in her hands.’
      • ‘I arched my back into him, and his eyes darkened dangerously.’
      • ‘However, his eyes had darkened dangerously and she could not tell with what emotion.’
      • ‘He stared down at her, his deep brown eyes darkening with barely restrained emotion.’
      • ‘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 eyes darkened and grew cold as his fists balled up.’
      • ‘Mark's eyes darkened with anger, and it was obvious that only his iron control over his emotions kept him from striking him.’
      • ‘Her eyes darkened with the first stirrings of anger.’
      • ‘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 eyes darkened in anger as he was shouting at me.’
      • ‘Her pale eyes darkened as she narrowed them suspiciously.’
      • ‘His sadness was gradually melting into anger; I could see his eyes darkening.’
      • ‘Scott could see her eyes darkening with anger.’
      • ‘She nearly yelled, her clear green eyes darkening with anger.’
      • ‘His eyes darkened, his disdainful expression frozen in place.’
    2. 2.2with object (of anger, sorrow, etc.) show in (someone's eyes or expression)
      ‘misery darkened her gaze’
      • ‘Vicki looked up, confusion darkening her eyes.’
      • ‘She gasped, staring at him, shock and pain darkening her eyes.’
      • ‘A scowl darkened his brown eyes to black as he glared ahead.’
      • ‘The color darkens his eyes just slightly without causing him to look any paler.’
      • ‘He looked up, concern darkening his young eyes.’
      • ‘A frown darkened the girls' eyes and they brought the page of confusing pictures up closer to their faces.’
      • ‘Annoyance darkened her brown eyes as she glared at the vicious, little black ball of fur.’
      • ‘Confusion darkened her eyes and lowered her brows in a frown.’
      • ‘Alternating her glance between the two, confusion darkened her blue eyes.’
      • ‘Vicki stepped off the overflowing bus with a sigh, the forlorn glaze that had darkened Wil's eyes setting heavy on her heart.’
      • ‘Andy nodded, the concerned expression still darkening her blue eyes.’
      • ‘A cloud of confusion darkened Vicki's eyes and she kicked a rock.’
      • ‘Victor sits back, annoyance darkening his gaze.’
      • ‘He regularly visited her grave and the mention of her name always caused a flicker of intense sadness to darken his eyes.’
      • ‘I worried for Brent because he was my only friend in Arlington and I understood the pain that darkened his eyes.’
      • ‘Andy released a deep breath and looked back out the front window, hurt darkening her eyes.’
      • ‘He was too busy checking up on Rhys to see the impatience that darkened his eyes.’
      • ‘He heard some whispering in the background and a glare darkened his eyes.’
      • ‘An unidentifiable emotion darkened his eyes so that they were almost black.’
      • ‘Regret darkened his brown eyes, making them appear almost black, as he lifted his gaze to Chelsea's.’

Phrases

  • never darken someone's door

    • Keep away from someone's home permanently.

      ‘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.’
      • ‘‘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!’’
      • ‘Well, if that's the standard, no wonder you feel abused and cheated every time you darken the door.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’

Pronunciation

darken

/ˈdɑːk(ə)n/