Definition of blacken in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈblak(ə)n/


1Make or become black or dark, especially as a result of burning, decay, or bruising: [with object]: stone blackened by the soot of ages (as adjective blackened) she smiled at Mary, revealing blackened teeth [no object]: he set light to the paper, watching the end blacken as it burned
More example sentences
  • He smiled slowly at her expression, revealing blackened teeth.
  • Kels asked him, smiling to reveal a row of soot blackened teeth.
  • Walking along the wet roads, empty apart from small gaggles of students, past big buildings of dark grey stone blackened by rain.
make black, black, darken, make dark/darker;
dirty, make dirty, make sooty, make smoky, stain, grime, begrime, befoul, soil
grow/become black, darken, dim, grow dim, cloud over
1.1 [with object] Dye or colour (the face or hair) black for camouflage or cosmetic effect: paras in full combat gear with blackened faces
More example sentences
  • Young girls blackened their faces and hobbled like cripples to avoid molestation but it made no difference.
  • He then proceeded to blacken his face entirely while trying to remember the words to the song.
  • Children also used to blacken their faces, as Guy Fawkes and his fellow conspirators might have done.
1.2 [with object] Damage or destroy (someone’s reputation) by speaking badly of them: she won’t thank you for blackening her husband’s name
More example sentences
  • How much is this further blackening the reputation of the media?
  • 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.
  • Yet on so little they had blackened a man's reputation.
sully, tarnish, blot, besmirch, drag through the mud/mire, stain, taint, smear, smudge, befoul, soil, contaminate, pollute, disgrace, dishonour, bring discredit to, injure, damage, spoil;
slander, defame, traduce
literary besmear, smirch
archaic spot, breathe on

Words that rhyme with blacken

bracken, slacken

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: black¦en

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