English

Definition of blackmail verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

 

blackmail

 verb
verb
BrE BrE//ˈblækmeɪl//
 
; NAmE NAmE//ˈblækmeɪl//
 
Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they blackmail
BrE BrE//ˈblækmeɪl//
 
; NAmE NAmE//ˈblækmeɪl//
 
he / she / it blackmails
BrE BrE//ˈblækmeɪlz//
 
; NAmE NAmE//ˈblækmeɪlz//
 
past simple blackmailed
BrE BrE//ˈblækmeɪld//
 
; NAmE NAmE//ˈblækmeɪld//
 
past participle blackmailed
BrE BrE//ˈblækmeɪld//
 
; NAmE NAmE//ˈblækmeɪld//
 
-ing form blackmailing
BrE BrE//ˈblækmeɪlɪŋ//
 
; NAmE NAmE//ˈblækmeɪlɪŋ//
 
 
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to force somebody to give you money or do something for you by threatening them, for example by saying you will tell people a secret about them blackmail somebody She blackmailed him for years by threatening to tell the newspapers about their affair. blackmail somebody into doing something The President said he wouldn't be blackmailed into agreeing to the terrorists' demands. Word Origin mid 16th cent. (denoting protection money levied by Scottish chiefs): from black + obsolete mail ‘tribute, rent’, from Old Norse mál ‘speech, agreement’.Extra examples Don’t let him emotionally blackmail you. She says she was virtually blackmailed into giving up her claim to the property. Voters were effectively blackmailed into voting ‘Yes’. The President said he wouldn’t be blackmailed into agreeing to the terrorists’ demands.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: blackmail

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