darken someone’s door


verb (used with object)

  1. to make dark or darker.
  2. to make obscure.
  3. to make less white or clear in color.
  4. to make gloomy; sadden: He darkened the festivities by his presence.
  5. to make blind.

verb (used without object)

  1. to become dark or darker.
  2. to become obscure.
  3. to become less white or clear in color.
  4. to grow clouded, as with gloom or anger.
  5. to become blind.
Idioms

  1. darken someone’s door, to come to visit; make an appearance: Never darken my door again!

verb

  1. to make or become dark or darker
  2. to make or become gloomy, angry, or sadhis mood darkened
  3. darken someone’s door (usually used with a negative) to visit someonenever darken my door again!
v.

c. 1300, “to make dark;” late 14c., “to become dark,” from dark (adj.) + -en (1). The more usual verb in Middle English was simply dark, as it is in Chaucer and Shakespeare, and darken did not predominate until 17c. The Anglo-Saxons also had a verb sweorcan meaning “to grow dark.” To darken someone’s door (usually with a negative) is attested from 1729.

Come unwanted to someone’s home, as in I told him to get out and never darken my door again. The verb darken here refers to casting one’s shadow across the threshold, a word that occasionally was substituted for door. As an imperative, the expression is associated with Victorian melodrama, where someone (usually a young woman or man) is thrown out of the parental home for some misdeed, but it is actually much older. Benjamin Franklin used it in The Busybody (1729): “I am afraid she would resent it so as never to darken my doors again.”

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