Definition of darken in English:



  • 1Make or become dark or darker.

    [no object] ‘the sky was darkening rapidly’
    [with object] ‘darken the eyebrows with black powder’
    ‘a darkened room’
    • ‘In August 1999 the skies above Swindon were darkened during a total solar eclipse.’
    • ‘As soon as they entered, the nurse crossed the room and closed the blinds, darkening the room to a gentle glow.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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 sky was darkening, clouds turning deeper shades of purple, red, and blue.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘If your bedroom cannot be darkened, use another room for sleeping.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Heavy curtains hanging over the windows darkened the room.’
    • ‘And then, as the sky slowly darkens, dark silhouettes slowly start wandering along the city-centre sidewalks.’
    • ‘The sun had begun to set outside and my living room was darkening quickly.’
    • ‘Casey clicked off the light and the room was completely darkened.’
    • ‘Melanie drew the curtains, darkening the room.’
    • ‘The room darkened again as a cloud passed in front of the moon.’
    • ‘I turn and see that the sun is now gone, and the sky is darkening rapidly.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Rebecca drew curtains over one of the windows, darkening the room considerably.’
    • ‘The room darkened as the fire faded into glowing embers.’
    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
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  • 2Make or become gloomy, angry, or unhappy.

    [no object] ‘his mood darkened’
    [with object] ‘the abuse darkened the rest of their lives’
    • ‘But his mood darkened as time went on and his eldest daughter remained uncontactable.’
    • ‘The mood at St James' Park darkened as Newcastle sunk to a 1-defeat to Tottenham.’
    • ‘The Rovers did not miss Peter's signal, and their mood seemed to darken.’
    • ‘I've never known a holiday to be spoiled, or even darkened, by an argument, by tensions that crackle and erupt in sharp words.’
    • ‘Doyle didn't laugh; his mood had abruptly darkened again, bleaker even than it had been.’
    • ‘His mood suddenly darkened as if remembering something painful.’
    • ‘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.’’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘His mood darkened, though, when Dougal levelled the teams again 11 minutes later by inexplicably waving a red at McIntyre.’
    • ‘The professor's eyes went to the rest of the class, and the atmosphere seemed to darken slightly.’
    • ‘His thoughts darkened rapidly as his fingers continued to itch.’
    • ‘Through his words, I could feel his mood darken.’
    • ‘A heavy depression fell upon the air as the mood darkened.’
    • ‘Sara's blue eyes darkened as she watched his expression become somewhat haunted.’
    • ‘He sighed slightly, his improved mood darkening at the memory of the girl's peril.’
    • ‘When I ask about how he reached the decision to leave South Africa and play for England his mood darkens further. ‘What, again?’’
    • ‘As soon as she stepped into the room Kim felt her mood darken, it was her mum, Kay.’
    • ‘Brett's features darkened and he nodded, looking completely unhappy with the news.’
    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
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    1. 2.1[no object](of someone's eyes or expression) show anger or another strong negative emotion.
      ‘his face darkened and he lunged away’
      • ‘His green eyes darkened and his expression turned stony.’
      • ‘His brilliant blue eyes would darken and the expression on his face became intense just before he would kiss her.’
      • ‘However, his eyes had darkened dangerously and she could not tell with what emotion.’
      • ‘Scott could see her eyes darkening with anger.’
      • ‘He stared down at her, his deep brown eyes darkening with barely restrained emotion.’
      • ‘‘Do not dare to speak to me in such a way,’ he said at last, his blue eyes darkening as he spoke.’
      • ‘He looked impassive, but his blue eyes had darkened in controlled anger.’
      • ‘She nearly yelled, her clear green eyes darkening with anger.’
      • ‘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 in anger as he was shouting at me.’
      • ‘Mark's eyes darkened with anger, and it was obvious that only his iron control over his emotions kept him from striking him.’
      • ‘His eyes darkened and grew cold as his fists balled up.’
      • ‘Ethan's grin was wide, though his eyes darkened in pent up anger, and fear.’
      • ‘Her eyes darkened with the first stirrings of anger.’
      • ‘His sadness was gradually melting into anger; I could see his eyes darkening.’
      • ‘Elizabeth's jaw dropped and her brows knitted together, her green-blue eyes darkening like thunderclouds.’
      • ‘Her pale eyes darkened as she narrowed them suspiciously.’
      • ‘His eyes darkened, his disdainful expression frozen in place.’
      • ‘I arched my back into him, and his eyes darkened dangerously.’
      • ‘Subconsciously, I noticed his eyes darkening, to almost a blood red colour.’
    2. 2.2[with object](of anger or another strong negative emotion) show in (someone's eyes or expression)
      ‘misery darkened her 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.’
      • ‘Vicki stepped off the overflowing bus with a sigh, the forlorn glaze that had darkened Wil's eyes setting heavy on her heart.’
      • ‘Vicki looked up, confusion darkening her eyes.’
      • ‘A cloud of confusion darkened Vicki's eyes and she kicked a rock.’
      • ‘An unidentifiable emotion darkened his eyes so that they were almost black.’
      • ‘The color darkens his eyes just slightly without causing him to look any paler.’
      • ‘She gasped, staring at him, shock and pain darkening her eyes.’
      • ‘Alternating her glance between the two, confusion darkened her blue 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.’
      • ‘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 heard some whispering in the background and a glare darkened his eyes.’
      • ‘A scowl darkened his brown eyes to black as he glared ahead.’
      • ‘Victor sits back, annoyance darkening his gaze.’
      • ‘A frown darkened the girls' eyes and they brought the page of confusing pictures up closer to their faces.’
      • ‘He was too busy checking up on Rhys to see the impatience that darkened his eyes.’
      • ‘Andy nodded, the concerned expression still darkening her blue eyes.’
      • ‘Andy released a deep breath and looked back out the front window, hurt darkening her eyes.’