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

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.’
      • ‘If Scallon isn't driving those cattle, I'll never darken your door again, and I'll not bother you over the man again.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘‘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!’’

Pronunciation

darken

/ˈdɑːk(ə)n/