blackmail definition, meaning - what is blackmail in the British English Dictionary & Thesaurus - Cambridge Dictionaries Online

Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “blackmail”

See all translations

blackmail

noun [U] uk   us   /ˈblæk.meɪl/
C2 the act of getting money from people or forcing them to do something by threatening to tell a secret of theirs or to harm them: If you are in a position of authority, any weakness leaves you open to blackmail.
More examples

blackmail

verb [T] uk   us   /ˈblæk.meɪl/
C2 to get money from someone by blackmail: They used the photographs to blackmail her into spying for them.
More examples
blackmailer
noun [C] uk   /-ˌmeɪ.lər/  us   /-ˌmeɪ.lɚ/
Translations of “blackmail”
in Korean 협박…
in Arabic ابْتِزاز…
in Portuguese chantagem…
in Catalan xantatge…
in Japanese 脅迫, 恐喝…
in Italian ricatto…
in Chinese (Traditional) 敲詐,勒索,訛詐…
in Russian шантаж…
in Turkish şantaj…
in Chinese (Simplified) 敲诈,勒索,讹诈…
in Polish szantaż…
(Definition of blackmail from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © 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

paradox

a situation or statement that seems impossible or is difficult to understand because it contains two opposite facts or characteristics

Word of the Day

What’s All The Commotion About? (Words to describe sounds)

by Kate Woodford,
May 20, 2015
​​​ In this post we look at a range of words and phrases that we use to describe noise and the absence of noise. Starting with complete quiet, we sometimes use the noun hush to describe silence: A hush fell over the room as the bride walked in./There was a deathly hush (=complete

Read More 

plyscraper noun

May 18, 2015
a skyscraper made mainly from wood The development of engineered timber could herald a new era of eco-friendly ‘plyscrapers’. Christchurch welcomed its first multistorey timber structure this year, there are plans for Vancouver, and the talk is China could follow

Read More