Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To make black.
  • transitive v. To sully or defame: a scandal that blackened the mayor's name.
  • transitive v. To coat (fish or meat, for example) with pepper and other spices and then quickly sear in a very hot skillet, thereby producing meat that is black on the outside but tender on the inside.
  • intransitive v. To become dark or black: The day blackened into night.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To make black.
  • v. To make dirty.
  • v. To defame or sully.
  • v. To cook (meat or fish) by coating with pepper, etc., and quickly searing in a hot pan.
  • v. To become black.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To make or render black.
  • transitive v. To make dark; to darken; to cloud.
  • transitive v. To defame; to sully, as reputation; to make infamous.
  • intransitive v. To grow black or dark.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To grow black or dark.
  • To make black; darken.
  • Figuratively, to sully; make infamous; defame; cause to appear immoral or vile: as, vice blackens the character.
  • In founding, to coat (the face of a mold) with graphite, or any mixture used for the purpose, in order to create a surface which will gasify under the heat of the molten metal.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. make or become black
  • v. burn slightly and superficially so as to affect color

Etymologies

black +‎ -en (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Although there are two distinct schools of thought on grilled chicken, one that advocates par boiling and one that does not, Mexican cooks do not par boil and are not afraid to let the chicken skin blacken on the outside while the chicken cooks through.

    Grilled Chicken: Pollo al Carbon

  • No doubt the Clinton campaign wants to "blacken" Obama however they can, but do they really want to make Clinton the candidate of the loony racist wing of the Democratic party?

    Ferraro's Latest: "They're Attacking Me Because I'm White"

  • I've just found another person asserting that maybe -- just maybe -- we should have something approaching conclusive evidence before alleging that the Clintons hatched a dastardly and bigoted scheme to "blacken" Obama and provoke a white backlash.

    Horses Mouth

  • The government then played only a small portion of a conversation between Mr. Rock and Mr. Pellicano -- politely leaving out the part of the call in which Mr. Pellicano promises to "blacken" up Ms. Zsibrita and Mr. Rock seems to be on board with the plan.

    Allison Hope Weiner: Pellicano Trial: Chris Rock Testifies

  • If Machen (rhymes with "blacken") isn't widely read today, it's not because his stories have goofy premises -- so does Bram Stoker's yarn about a blood-sucking Transylvanian who sleeps in a coffin.

    Arthur Machen's Stories:

  • In Caracas, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Nicolás Maduro said the arrests were a U.S. maneuver to "blacken" the reputation of "progressive" governments in South America.

    Florida Arrests May Add

  • Speculation is such a position will go to a black candidate because the party has realised the need to "blacken" its leadership.

    ANC Daily News Briefing

  • The Democratic Party hopes to "blacken" its leadership in the run up to April 1994 elections, leader Zach de Beer told a news conference in Durban on Wednesday.

    ANC Daily News Briefing

  • No matter what I do, I can't seem to get it to "blacken" so I can check it.

    NeoOffice Forums- Forums

  • The statement suggests Mzamane had a role in the mistreatment of the students, "which clearly would tend to 'blacken' plaintiff's reputation or injure her in her profession," U.S.

    The Full Feed from HuffingtonPost.com

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