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.

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


  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!

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.

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