v. black·ened, black·en·ing, black·ens
1. To make black.
2. To sully or defame: a scandal that blackened the mayor's name.
3. 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.
To become dark or black: The day blackened into night.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.