from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To make dark or darker.
  • intransitive verb To give a darker hue to.
  • intransitive verb To fill with sadness; make gloomy.
  • intransitive verb To render vague or uncertain; obscure.
  • intransitive verb To tarnish or stain.
  • intransitive verb To become dark or darker.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To grow dark or darker.
  • To grow less white or clear; assume a darker hue or appearance: as, white paper darkens with age.
  • To deprive of light; make dark or darker: as, to darken a room by closing the shutters.
  • To obscure or shut out the light of.
  • To render less white or clear; impart a darker hue to: as, exposure to the sun darkens the complexion.
  • To obscure or cloud the meaning or intelligence of; perplex; render vague or uncertain.
  • To render gloomy; sadden.
  • To deprive of vision; strike with blindness.
  • Hence To deprive of intellectual or spiritual light; sink in darkness or ignorance.
  • To sully; make foul; make less bright or lustrous.
  • To hide; conceal.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • intransitive verb To grow or darker.
  • transitive verb To make dark or black; to deprive of light; to obscure.
  • transitive verb To render dim; to deprive of vision.
  • transitive verb To cloud, obscure, or perplex; to render less clear or intelligible.
  • transitive verb To cast a gloom upon.
  • transitive verb To make foul; to sully; to tarnish.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb transitive To make dark or darker by reducing light.
  • verb intransitive To become dark or darker (having less light).
  • verb transitive To make dark or darker in colour.
  • verb intransitive To become dark or darker in colour.
  • verb transitive To render gloomy, dark(er) of mood
  • verb intransitive To become gloomy, dark of mood
  • verb transitive To blind, impair eyesight
  • verb intransitive To be blinded, loose clear vision

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

  • verb become dark or darker
  • verb make dark or darker
  • verb tarnish or stain


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English derkenen, dirkenen, from Old English *deorcnian, *diercnian (“to darken”), equivalent to dark +‎ -en. Cognate with Scots derken, durken ("to darken"), Old High German tarchanjan, terchinen ("to darken"), Middle High German terken, derken ("to darken").


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