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blacken

[blak-uh n] /ˈblæk ən/
verb (used with object)
1.
to make black; darken.
2.
to speak evil of; defame:
to blacken a person's reputation.
verb (used without object)
3.
to grow or become black.
Origin of blacken
1250-1300
1250-1300; Middle English; see black, -en1
Related forms
blackener, noun
Synonyms
2. denigrate, smear, slander, villify, libel, traduce, calumniate.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for blacken
Historical Examples
  • And weirdly enough it did suggest those same towering masses of masonry when one sees them blacken against the twilight skies.

    The Metal Monster A. Merritt
  • blacken your face and fast really, that the Master of Life may have pity on you and me, and on us all.

    Old Mackinaw W. P. Strickland.
  • The desire to blacken his own character was reserved for those occasions when, as he well knew, there would be most publicity.

    Byron Richard Edgcumbe
  • I will not blacken any man's reputation to further my own interests.

    The Dop Doctor Clotilde Inez Mary Graves
  • Tear me away, I say: the veins rise; they blacken; they are filling with new blood.

    Rookwood William Harrison Ainsworth
  • I'll no let any one blacken the memory o' Thomas Macalister.

    Border Ghost Stories Howard Pease
  • The vast flocks that blacken the skies for a few short weeks in November disappear as suddenly as they come.

    A Cotswold Village J. Arthur Gibbs
  • It will burn and blacken outside, which is of no consequence.

    Choice Cookery Catherine Owen
  • I will content myself with a word or two, and will not blacken further the pages of my Memoirs.

  • It is best not to use an iron point for this, as iron is apt to blacken the leather.

British Dictionary definitions for blacken

blacken

/ˈblækən/
verb
1.
to make or become black or dirty
2.
(transitive) to defame; slander (esp in the phrase blacken someone's name)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for blacken
v.

c.1200, "become black or dark;" early 14c., "make black, darken, dye (hair);" see black + -en (1). Figurative sense of "to besmirch" (with dishonor, etc.) is from early 15c. Related: Blackened; blackening.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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15
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