Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “blackmail”

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: In a position of authority, any weakness leaves you open to blackmail.

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.
blackmailer
noun [C] uk   /-ˌmeɪ.lər/ us    /-ˌmeɪ.lɚ/
(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

More meanings of “blackmail”

Definitions of “blackmail” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

for starters

used to say that something is the first in a list of things

Word of the Day

Come on – you can do it! Phrasal verbs with ‘come’.

by Liz Walter​,
November 19, 2014
As part of an occasional series on the tricky subject of phrasal verbs, this blog looks at ones formed with the verb ‘come’. If you are reading this blog, I’m sure you already know come from, as it is one of the first things you learn in class: I come from Scotland/Spain.

Read More 

ped-text verb

November 24, 2014
to text someone while walking I’m ped-texting, I’m looking down at my phone, 75 percent of the time.

Read More