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   /ˈblæk.meɪl/ us  
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   /ˈblæk.meɪl/ us  
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

glacial

made or left by a glacier

Word of the Day

Let’s celebrate! (words and phrases for parties)

by Kate Woodford,
December 17, 2014
​​​ With Christmas and New Year almost upon us, we thought it a good time to look at the language of parties and celebrations. First, let’s start with the word ‘party’ itself. To have or throw a party or, less commonly, to give a party is to arrange a party: We’re having a

Read More 

cinderella surgery noun

December 15, 2014
cosmetic surgery to the feet We have all heard of people having nose jobs, boob jobs and liposuction – but now a new trend growing in popularity in America: Cinderella surgery.

Read More