Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “blackmail”

blackmail

noun [U]  /ˈblækˌmeɪl/ us  
the act of threatening to harm someone or someone's reputation unless the person does as you say, or a payment made to someone who has threatened to harm you or your reputation if you fail to pay the person: Reckless behavior made him an easy target for blackmail.
blackmail
verb [T]  /ˈblækˌmeɪl/ us  
The guy who blackmailed my father went to jail.
(Definition of blackmail from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of blackmail?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “blackmail” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

pint

a measure for liquid equal to about half a litre

Word of the Day

Blog

Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More