Definition of blacken in US English:

blacken

verb

  • 1Become or make black or dark, especially as a result of burning, decay, or bruising.

    no object ‘he set fire to the paper, watching the end blacken as it burned’
    with object ‘she blackened George's eye before he knew what had happened’
    ‘her smile revealed blackened teeth’
    • ‘Halve and deseed the peppers and place, with rounded sides uppermost, under a preheated grill until the skins blacken.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Beads of murky water dripped down stone walls blackened by grime, and the floor was cold gray stone.’
    • ‘The material became dark, paint blackened, as I rubbed harder, more and more vigorously.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Flames leapt up around them, black smoke stained the sky, blackened out the moon.’
    • ‘Leave the cannas in the ground until frost blackens the foliage.’
    • ‘There were a lot missing words, where the paper had been blackened and burned away.’
    • ‘Kels asked him, smiling to reveal a row of soot blackened teeth.’
    • ‘He smiled slowly at her expression, revealing 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.’
    • ‘Let me first say that this work blackens your heart and destroys everything good and decent in your sole.’
    • ‘Walking along the wet roads, empty apart from small gaggles of students, past big buildings of dark grey stone blackened by rain.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘His blue eyes blacken and I watch aghast, as he buries his face in his hands with a barely stifled groan.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Over the hours bruises had formed along the side of her face and her left eye was blackened.’
    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 color (the face or hair) black for camouflage or cosmetic effect.
      ‘in full combat gear with blackened faces’
      • ‘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!’
      • ‘It is believed that ancient Hawaiians blackened their faces and limbs when in mourning.’
      • ‘Kevin confessed to having the same problem - light hair - but always got around it by blackening things up with mascara.’
      • ‘The herb was added as it can blacken hair and it will also add to the astringent quality of the formula.’
      • ‘I blackened my teeth, coloured them against the advice of my dentist.’
      • ‘They had blackened each other's faces and then hers, pocketed their watches, reversed their caps.’
      • ‘Young girls blackened their faces and hobbled like cripples to avoid molestation but it made no difference.’
      • ‘He wore a blood red bandana across his forehead, keeping back his blackened hair that lay mostly in a keep-back.’
      • ‘They also paint their bodies and blacken their teeth.’
      • ‘Children also used to blacken their faces, as Guy Fawkes and his fellow conspirators might have done.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He then proceeded to blacken his face entirely while trying to remember the words to the song.’
      • ‘Jack grinned then, his teeth flashing white through the charcoal that blackened his face.’
      • ‘The night before Bonfire Night was once known as Mischief Night, when children would blacken their faces and play pranks.’
      • ‘Their faces were blackened, and pointed sheepskin or paper caps were clapped on their heads.’
      • ‘In battle men may blacken their skin similar to the cassowary's colouration.’
      • ‘This went on until several men were hired to blacken their faces, hide, jump out and shout ‘boo!’’
      • ‘They burn cork and blacken their faces, painting on big red lips, donning white gloves.’
      • ‘I brushed my hand through his newly blackened hair.’
      • ‘Also at this time they blackened their women's teeth to make them more beautiful.’
    2. 1.2with object Damage or destroy (someone's good reputation); defame.
      ‘she won't thank you for blackening her husband's name’
      • ‘Having determined that they were unable to silence him, the government then set about blackening his reputation.’
      • ‘Fairly or not, the reputation of the world champion has forever been blackened by his association with drugs.’
      • ‘But a lot of innocent people had their names blackened and their careers damaged during the hunt.’
      • ‘It became the most effective typological tool to blacken the Irish character and, through association, declare it unfit for self-government.’
      • ‘And they did a superb job of smearing them - his character has been totally blackened, and so has hers, to a degree.’
      • ‘How much is this further blackening the reputation of the media?’
      • ‘Meanwhile, he will continue to haunt the north-western district, blackening the country's face all the more.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Although their faces were pixillated the family believe their names have been blackened by the arrests.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘After they were dead, their reputations were deliberately blackened by lawyers defending their killer.’
      • ‘Yet on so little they had blackened a man's reputation.’
      • ‘Or could it have been, as he implied, jealous rivals who wanted to blacken his name and damage his business?’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The brothers believed that, while the inquiry seemed to clear Ministers of wrongdoing, it blackened their own reputation.’
      • ‘Since then he has done everything possible to politically destroy his opponent and blacken his name through a series of trumped up charges.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Not only that, your personal credit rating is not blackened in Ireland by a business failure, providing you wrap up with Companies Office procedures.’
      • ‘First they accused the film writer of plagiarism to blacken her name and destroy her credibility, then attacked the film script.’
      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

/ˈblakən//ˈblækən/