Definition of darken in US 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’
    • ‘Casey clicked off the light and the room was completely darkened.’
    • ‘As the obscuration of the Sun increases the sky darkens, although it never gets as black as dead of night.’
    • ‘In August 1999 the skies above Swindon were darkened during a total solar eclipse.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It was here the new Carlow confidence shone like the sun breaking through after rapidly darkening skies which almost called for floodlighting.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The room darkened again as a cloud passed in front of the moon.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I lay in his arms afterwards, the room darkening slowly as the afternoon died away.’
    • ‘And then, as the sky slowly darkens, dark silhouettes slowly start wandering along the city-centre sidewalks.’
    • ‘Melanie drew the curtains, darkening the room.’
    • ‘The sun had begun to set outside and my living room was darkening quickly.’
    • ‘As soon as they entered, the nurse crossed the room and closed the blinds, darkening the room to a gentle glow.’
    • ‘Rebecca drew curtains over one of the windows, darkening the room considerably.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘If your bedroom cannot be darkened, use another room for sleeping.’
    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 gloomy, angry, or unhappy.

    no object ‘his mood darkened’
    with object ‘the abuse darkened the rest of their lives’
    • ‘As soon as she stepped into the room Kim felt her mood darken, it was her mum, Kay.’
    • ‘In his point of view then sixteen was such serious age and nothing could darken his 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.’
    • ‘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 professor's eyes went to the rest of the class, and the atmosphere seemed to darken slightly.’
    • ‘When I ask about how he reached the decision to leave South Africa and play for England his mood darkens further. ‘What, again?’’
    • ‘I'm pretty sure the only way to darken the mood at a funeral is to have something more tragic happen during one.’
    • ‘But his mood darkened as time went on and his eldest daughter remained uncontactable.’
    • ‘All this bad news is darkening the mood of company executives.’
    • ‘Em shook her head, her thoughts darkening her mood once again.’
    • ‘A heavy depression fell upon the air as the mood darkened.’
    • ‘More invitingly, there are a good few gnashing epics where guitars and keyboard atmospherics collude to darken an already black mood.’
    • ‘His mood darkened, though, when Dougal levelled the teams again 11 minutes later by inexplicably waving a red at McIntyre.’
    • ‘Over 200 of these are given over to vituperation against Tesco, in which the reviewer admits, ‘even driving past Tesco darkens my mood’.’
    • ‘Serai curled her lips and darkened her brow to show she was angry.’
    • ‘Caidryn laughs bitterly, the angry bruise on her face darkening her features even further.’
    • ‘The economic downturns in 1920 and 1921 darkened the public 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.’
    • ‘I was enjoying the quiet of which I got so little, and being bothered by my mentor would only darken my mood.’
    • ‘His eyes darkened as he surveyed me with a tiny bit of mistrust, ‘You going to be helping the king.’’
    • ‘His mood suddenly darkened as if remembering something painful.’
    • ‘The mood at St James' Park darkened as Newcastle sunk to a 1-defeat to Tottenham.’
    • ‘But her face was pale and ashen, and her eyes darkened with worries.’
    • ‘Doyle didn't laugh; his mood had abruptly darkened again, bleaker even than it had been.’
    • ‘Paterson's attempt to brighten Heikkinen's outlook last term only seemed to darken the midfielder's mood further.’
    • ‘Brett's features darkened and he nodded, looking completely unhappy with the news.’
    • ‘Jacynthia and Lark's moods had darkened quickly and they sulked while taking notes.’
    • ‘The Rovers did not miss Peter's signal, and their mood seemed to darken.’
    • ‘He sighed slightly, his improved mood darkening at the memory of the girl's peril.’
    • ‘If anything more darkens the mood of our brooding Chancellor it is warnings such as these.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I've never known a holiday to be spoiled, or even darkened, by an argument, by tensions that crackle and erupt in sharp words.’
    • ‘While the attacks darkened the mood of our country, I am heartened to know that the core values of Americans remain strong.’
    • ‘Rhian thought of saying something to cheer the girl up, but her exchange with Gina had momentarily darkened her mood.’
    • ‘His thoughts darkened rapidly as his fingers continued to itch.’
    • ‘In truth, it was another wobble with his three wood which had darkened Woosnam's mood.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Sara's blue eyes darkened as she watched his expression become somewhat haunted.’
    • ‘Through his words, I could feel his mood darken.’
    • ‘The large nurse was standing in the doorway, one hand resting on her wide hips, and a snarl darkening her face.’
    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 or another strong negative emotion.
      ‘his face darkened and he lunged away’
      • ‘His eyes darkened and grew cold as his fists balled up.’
      • ‘He stared down at her, his deep brown eyes darkening with barely restrained emotion.’
      • ‘However, his eyes had darkened dangerously and she could not tell with what emotion.’
      • ‘The boy's eyes darkened with anger, ‘That's my job’ he said and snatched the coins she had in her hands.’
      • ‘His brilliant blue eyes would darken and the expression on his face became intense just before he would kiss her.’
      • ‘She nearly yelled, her clear green eyes darkening with anger.’
      • ‘Her pale eyes darkened as she narrowed them suspiciously.’
      • ‘He looked impassive, but his blue eyes had darkened in controlled anger.’
      • ‘Subconsciously, I noticed his eyes darkening, to almost a blood red colour.’
      • ‘His eyes darkened, his disdainful expression frozen in place.’
      • ‘His sadness was gradually melting into anger; I could see his eyes darkening.’
      • ‘Scott could see her eyes darkening with anger.’
      • ‘Ethan's grin was wide, though his eyes darkened in pent up anger, and fear.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘His green eyes darkened and his expression turned stony.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
    2. 2.2with object (of anger or another strong negative emotion) show in (someone's eyes or expression)
      ‘misery darkened her gaze’
      • ‘Vicki looked up, confusion darkening her eyes.’
      • ‘A cloud of confusion darkened Vicki's eyes and she kicked a rock.’
      • ‘Alternating her glance between the two, confusion darkened her blue eyes.’
      • ‘He regularly visited her grave and the mention of her name always caused a flicker of intense sadness to darken his eyes.’
      • ‘Andy released a deep breath and looked back out the front window, hurt 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.’
      • ‘Victor sits back, annoyance darkening his gaze.’
      • ‘Vicki stepped off the overflowing bus with a sigh, the forlorn glaze that had darkened Wil's eyes setting heavy on her heart.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Andy nodded, the concerned expression still darkening her blue eyes.’
      • ‘I worried for Brent because he was my only friend in Arlington and I understood the pain that darkened his eyes.’
      • ‘He heard some whispering in the background and a glare darkened his eyes.’
      • ‘Confusion darkened her eyes and lowered her brows in a frown.’
      • ‘Annoyance darkened her brown eyes as she glared at the vicious, little black ball of fur.’
      • ‘An unidentifiable emotion darkened his eyes so that they were almost black.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The color darkens his eyes just slightly without causing him to look any paler.’

Phrases

  • darken someone's door

    • Visit someone's home.

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

Pronunciation

darken

/ˈdɑrkən//ˈdärkən/