blackmail Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo
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Meaning of “blackmail” in the English Dictionary

"blackmail" in British English

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blackmailnoun [U]

uk   /ˈblæk.meɪl/  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 ​weaknessleaves you open to blackmail.

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blackmailverb [T]

uk   /ˈblæk.meɪl/  us   /ˈblæk.meɪl/
C2 to get ​money from someone by blackmail: They used the ​photographs to blackmail her intospying for them.

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blackmailer
noun [C] uk   /ˈblækˌmeɪ.lər/  us   /ˈblækˌmeɪ.lɚ/
(Definition of blackmail from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"blackmail" in American English

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blackmailnoun [U]

 us   /ˈblækˌmeɪl/
the ​act of ​threatening to ​harm someone or someone's ​reputationunless the ​person does as you say, or a ​payment made to someone who has threatened to ​harm you or ​yourreputation if you ​fail to ​pay the ​person: Reckless ​behavior made him an ​easytarget for blackmail.
blackmail
verb [T]  us   /ˈblækˌmeɪl/
The ​guy who blackmailed my ​father went to ​jail.
(Definition of blackmail from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"blackmail" in Business English

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blackmailnoun [U]

uk   us   /ˈblækmeɪl/
a ​situation in which threats are made to ​harm a ​person or ​organization if they do not do something such as give someone ​money: Large ​corporations can be vulnerable to blackmail ​demands by ​computerhackers.

blackmailverb [T]

uk   us   /ˈblækmeɪl/
to make threats to ​harm a ​company or ​organization if they do not do something you want, such as give you ​money: A ​formerexecutive, ​seekingdamages of $2.5 million, was ​accused of ​trying to blackmail the ​company.
(Definition of blackmail from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
Translations of “blackmail”
in Arabic ابْتِزاز…
in Korean 협박…
in Portuguese chantagem…
in Catalan xantatge…
in Japanese 脅迫, 恐喝…
in Chinese (Simplified) 敲诈,勒索,讹诈…
in Turkish şantaj…
in Russian шантаж…
in Chinese (Traditional) 敲詐,勒索,訛詐…
in Italian ricatto…
in Polish szantaż…
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“blackmail” in British English

“blackmail” in American English

“blackmail” in Business English

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