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 weakness leaves 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 into spying 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 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] 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   /ˈblækmeɪl/ us  
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 computer hackers.

blackmailverb [T]

uk   /ˈblækmeɪl/ us  
to make threats to harm a company or organization if they do not do something you want, such as give you money: A former executive, seeking damages 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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