- 1The action, treated as a criminal offence, of demanding money from someone in return for not revealing compromising information which one has about them: they were acquitted of charges of blackmail [as modifier]: she recounted the blackmail threatsMore example sentences
- Police treated the approach as blackmail and brought charges against him last October.
- It is, after all, free information usable for blackmail, theft or provoking a crippling system breakdown.
- A 23-year-old man branded the UK's worst spammer has been jailed for six years for a string of offences including blackmail and threatening to kill.
- 1.1Money demanded by a person or group engaged in blackmail: we do not pay blackmailMore example sentences
- He was embezzling in order to pay blackmail over a fight he was involved in, in which a person died.
- He had in fact suggested several times that it might be necessary to pay blackmail to silence the burglars who broke into party headquarters.
- He had to do a very public confession, because it was shown that he was paying blackmail.
- 1.2The use of threats or the manipulation of someone’s feelings to force them to do something: some people use emotional blackmailMore example sentences
- In cases of forced marriage the force can be emotional blackmail or other forms of psychological pressure.
- Five years on, her husband is facing a charge for assault - the culmination of a marriage which descended into emotional blackmail, abuse and violence.
- Unwilling girls might be subjected to threats, ranging from physical violence and being locked up, to subtle emotional blackmail.
verb[with object] Back to top
- 1Demand money from (someone) in return for not revealing compromising information about them: they use this fact to blackmail him, trying to force him to vote for their candidateMore example sentences
- Other gangs have resorted to blackmailing doctors monthly in return for their personal safety.
- She was blackmailing people for money, but I didn't find any names or any dirty information, just that.
- Once the hackers gain access to systems they download proprietary information, customer databases, and credit card information before trying to blackmail victims.
- 1.1Force (someone) to do something by using threats or manipulating their feelings: he had blackmailed her into sailing with himMore example sentences
- The liberals use this fact to blackmail him, trying to force him to vote for their candidate.
- Because once you allow your nation to be blackmailed by the threat of force, you're doomed.
- I'm not threatening you or blackmailing you with friendship so that you vote my way.
- More example sentences
- Harry and his fellow detectives faced communist and terrorist groups, as well as common kidnappers and blackmailers.
- Extortion is always a problem for law enforcement, since the blackmailer has something over those he's blackmailing.
- The blackmailers themselves were a varied lot, but a significant number were involved with police or law enforcement.
mid 16th century (denoting protection money levied by Scottish chiefs): from black + obsolete mail 'tribute, rent', from Old Norse mál 'speech, agreement'.