What does blackmail mean?

Definitions for blackmail
ˈblækˌmeɪlblack·mail

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word blackmail.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. blackmailverb

    extortion of money by threats to divulge discrediting information

  2. blackmail, blackjack, pressureverb

    exert pressure on someone through threats

  3. blackmailverb

    obtain through threats

Wiktionary

  1. blackmailnoun

    A certain rate of money, corn, cattle, or other thing, anciently paid, in the north of England and south of Scotland, to certain men who were allied to robbers, or moss troopers, to be by them protected from pillage.

    Etymology: From black + mail.

  2. blackmailnoun

    Payment of money exacted by means of intimidation; also, extortion of money from a person by threats of public accusation, exposure, or censure.

    Etymology: From black + mail.

  3. blackmailnoun

    Black rent, or rent paid in corn, flesh, or the lowest coin, a opposed to white rent, which paid in silver.

    to levy blackmail

    Etymology: From black + mail.

  4. blackmailverb

    To extort money from by exciting fears of injury other than bodily harm, such as injury to reputation, distress of mind, false accusation, etc.; as, to blackmail a merchant by threatening to expose an alleged fraud.

    Etymology: From black + mail.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Blackmailnoun

    a certain rate of money, corn, cattle, or other thing, anciently paid, in the north of England and south of Scotland, to certain men who were allied to robbers, or moss troopers, to be by them protected from pillage

  2. Blackmailnoun

    payment of money exacted by means of intimidation; also, extortion of money from a person by threats of public accusation, exposure, or censure

  3. Blackmailnoun

    black rent, or rent paid in corn, flesh, or the lowest coin, a opposed to "white rent", which paid in silver

  4. Blackmailverb

    to extort money from by exciting fears of injury other than bodily harm, as injury to reputation, distress of mind, etc.; as, to blackmail a merchant by threatening to expose an alleged fraud

Freebase

  1. Blackmail

    Blackmail is an act, often a crime, involving unjustified threats to make a gain or cause loss to another unless a demand is met. It may be defined as coercion involving threats of physical harm, threat of criminal prosecution, or threats for the purposes of taking the person's money or property. It is the name of a statutory offence in the United States of America, England and Wales, Northern Ireland, and Victoria, Australia, and has been used as a convenient way of referring to other offences, but was not a term codified by Statute in English law before 1968. It originally meant payments rendered by settlers in the Counties of England bordering Scotland to chieftains and the like in the Scottish Lowlands, in exchange for protection from Scottish thieves and marauders into England. Blackmail may also be considered a form of extortion. Although the two are generally synonymous, extortion is the taking of personal property by threat of future harm. Blackmail is the use of threats to prevent another from engaging in a lawful occupation and writing libelous letters or letters that provoke a breach of the peace, as well as use of intimidation for purposes of collecting an unpaid debt. Some US states distinguish the offenses by requiring that blackmail be in writing. In some jurisdictions, the offence of blackmail is often carried out during the act of robbery. This occurs when an offender makes a threat of immediate violence towards someone in order to make a gain as part of a theft. For example, the threat of "Give me your money or I will shoot you" is an unlawful threat of violence in order to gain property.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Blackmail

    blak′māl, n. rent or tribute formerly paid to robbers for protection: hush-money extorted under threat of exposure or denunciation, esp. of a baseless charge.—v.t. to extort money from a person by this expedient. [Black and A.S. mal, tribute, toll.]

Suggested Resources

  1. blackmail

    Song lyrics by blackmail -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by blackmail on the Lyrics.com website.

Etymology and Origins

  1. Blackmail

    Originally a tax or tribute paid to robbers or freebooters as a compromise for protection. “Black” implied the Gaelic for security, while mal was Anglo-Saxon for tribute.

Matched Categories

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Numerology

  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of blackmail in Chaldean Numerology is: 2

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of blackmail in Pythagorean Numerology is: 1

Examples of blackmail in a Sentence

  1. Hassan Latheef:

    The government reneged on the agreed deal at the last minute, demanding a close family member of Nasheed remain in Male, effectively as a hostage, until he returns from the UK, if Nasheed does anything that breach the terms of the government, the family member could then be criminally prosecuted. This kind of blackmail is illegal, unheard of in international affairs, and totally outrageous.

  2. Adam Schiff:

    The agency advised those affected to monitor their bank accounts for unusual activity, and to request a credit report along with other safeguards against fraud. The Associated Press, which first reported the breach, cited officials saying that the breach could potentially affect every federal agency. One key question is whether intelligence agency employee information was stolen. This is an attack against the nation, said Ken Ammon, chief strategy officer of software security company Xceedium, who added that the stolen information could be used to impersonate or blackmail federal employees with access to sensitive information. The FBI said in a statement that The FBI was working with interagency partners to investigate the breach, while the DHS said it was continuing to monitor federal networks for suspicious activity and is working aggressively to investigate the extent of the breach. Responding to news of the breach, Congressman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., called on Senate Intelligence Committee to pass cybersecurity legislation passed by the House earlier in the year. This bill will not be a panacea for the broad cyber threats we face, but it is one important piece of armor in our defenses that must be put in place – now.

  3. Dimitris Stratoulis:

    The lenders want to impose hard measures. If they do not back down from this package of blackmail the government ... will have to seek alternative solutions, elections.

  4. Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski:

    Zoran Zaev's just an instrument, a kamikaze. The game is big, too big for Zoran Zaev, i am not a man who functions under threat and blackmail.

  5. President Tayyip Erdogan:

    The game of those who tried to use the tomb and our soldiers to blackmail Turkey has been disrupted.

Images & Illustrations of blackmail

  1. blackmailblackmailblackmailblackmailblackmail

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Translations for blackmail

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    assist or encourage, usually in some wrongdoing
    • A. descant
    • B. aberrate
    • C. fluster
    • D. abet

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