• WordNet 3.6
    • v blackmail obtain through threats
    • v blackmail exert pressure on someone through threats
    • n blackmail extortion of money by threats to divulge discrediting information
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Blackmail 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.
    • Blackmail (Eng. Law) Black rent, or rent paid in corn, flesh, or the lowest coin, a opposed to “white rent”, which paid in silver.
    • Blackmail Payment of money exacted by means of intimidation; also, extortion of money from a person by threats of public accusation, exposure, or censure.
    • v. t Blackmail 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.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n blackmail A tribute of money, corn, cattle, or the like, anciently paid, in the north of England and in Scotland, to men who were allied with robbers, to secure protection from pillage. Blackmail was levied in the districts bordering the Highlands of Scotland till the middle of the eighteenth century.
    • n blackmail Hence Extortion in any mode by means of intimidation, as the extortion of money by threats of accusation or exposure, or of unfavorable criticism in the press. It usually implies that the payment is involuntary, and the ground for demanding it unlawful or pretended and fraudulent.
    • n blackmail Rent paid in produce, or in baser money, in opposition to rent paid in silver.
    • blackmail To extort money or goods from, by means of intimidation or threats of injury of any kind, as exposure of actual or supposed wrong-doing, etc. See the noun.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Blackmail blak′māl 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 Blackmail to extort money from a person by this expedient
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Black, + mail, a piece of money


In literature:

I've not come to blackmail you into loving me, Cecily.
"Tristram of Blent" by Anthony Hope
They never hunt or fish themselves as long as they can frighten other people into being blackmailed by them.
"Three Boys in the Wild North Land" by Egerton Ryerson Young
Now the steward is preparing to blackmail the Bishop, as he had blackmailed the Bishop's brother.
"Browning's Heroines" by Ethel Colburn Mayne
He was kicked out, Doctor, for blackmailing the students.
"Glyn Severn's Schooldays" by George Manville Fenn
It's a pure case of blackmail.
"The Young Bridge-Tender" by Arthur M. Winfield
It almost made Paul laugh to think that any man should attempt to blackmail him.
"High Noon" by Anonymous
Now, this proceeding, as it proved, brought swift detection and punishment upon the young blackmailer.
"Uncle Rutherford's Nieces" by Joanna H. Mathews
What, after all, were these cushion-footed sleuths but blackmailers of a legalized sort?
"The Tyranny of Weakness" by Charles Neville Buck
He's sure to peach or blackmail his accomplice.
"The Mark Of Cain" by Andrew Lang
Many accusations of rape are due to a desire for revenge or merely to motives of blackmail.
"Woman" by William J. Robinson

In poetry:

Built by the conscience-stricken, the weapon-making,
By us. Wild rumours woo and terrify the crowd,
Woo us. Betrayers thunder at, blackmail
Us. But where now are They.
"As We Like It" by W H Auden

In news:

ATLANTA (AP) — The CEO of Waffle House says a former employee who claims he sexually harassed her was actually a participant in consensual sex and has been trying to blackmail him.
Thirty Secret Service agents raided a Franklin, Tennessee man's house believing his cats had implicated him in a $1 million scheme blackmailing Mitt and Ann Romney for stolen tax returns dating back 20 years.
The blackmail caucus scaring people to vote against Obama.
Police suspect a Jerusalem rabbi of hiring Abutbul's services to blackmail a Haredi man from Jerusalem whom the rabbi accused of stealing money from his home.
Why region fears al-Assad's ' blackmail ' in Beirut.
Herpes has been a nightmare, largely over blackmail .
Attempt To Blackmail Menard's Owner From Prison Fails.
Justin Bieber Theft, Online Blackmail Threat Turns Out to Be Prank Promoting New Video.
The Milwaukee Film Festival begins its final four days with a restored version of Alfred Hitchcock's darkly comic 1929 " Blackmail .".
The film, about a woman who kills a man in self-defense and then finds herself blackmailed, was Hitchcock's last silent film.
Governor's threat blackmail , pure and simple.
Dartmouth Detective Robert Levinson remains on sick leave after getting caught up in what he calls a blackmail scandal.
Blackmail Cited as Motive in a Killing That Shook China.
Jennifer Lopez Accuses Former Driver of Attempted Blackmail .
Jennifer Lopez is suing her former driver and head of personal security, who she says tried to blackmail her, CNN reports.