From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishblackmailblack‧mail1 /ˈblækmeɪl/ ●○○ noun [uncountable] 1 THREATENwhen someone tries to get money from you or make you do what they want by threatening to tell other people your secrets2 THREATENwhen someone tries to make you do what they want by making threats or by making you feel guilty if you do not do it She had already tried emotional blackmail (=tried to make him feel guilty) to stop him leaving.
Examples from the Corpusblackmail• She recounted the harassments and blackmail threats by Atkins and his undercover colleague.• It fostered an atmosphere of intimidation and blackmail within which realism came to sound like racism.• No, he used some pretty outrageous emotional blackmail on me.• Bates got a 5-year jail sentence for blackmail.• Damn McIllvanney, I thought, and damn his blackmail.• "If you don't give me the money, I'm going to tell your wife." "This is blackmail!"• This is a move that immediately suggests a preliminary to political blackmail.• Many elements in its tale of crime, rape, blackmail and luxury beyond dreams are duplicated in the Fujian affair.• He said Shooter, who admitted the blackmail plot at an earlier hearing, was an author of several works of fiction.• They said if I didn't do the overtime I'd lose my job - it was blackmail.• For drama, the old boyfriend shows up with blackmail on his mind.emotional blackmail• All the rest is emotional blackmail.• There is emotional blackmail over custody of the daughter.• Using the picture of a sad little kid in their advertisement seems like emotional blackmail.• It's not emotional blackmail - but once or twice recently, I've felt that I've nearly bought it.• Any relationship that has to depend on emotional blackmail can't be a healthy one.• This cleans the slate making it less likely that you will feel guilty or succumb to any future pressure or emotional blackmail.• No, he used some pretty outrageous emotional blackmail on me.• Some people even resort to emotional blackmail and games, which can end in making everyone unhappy.• She's always using emotional blackmail and playing on other people's feelings.• Be especially wary of using emotional blackmail.blackmailblackmail2 ●○○ verb [transitive] THREATENto use blackmail against someone He was jailed for four years for blackmailing gay businessmen.blackmail somebody into (doing) something I refuse to be blackmailed into making a quick decision.► see thesaurus at force —blackmailer noun [countable]→ See Verb table
Examples from the Corpusblackmail• Ford had been blackmailing a gay naval officer.• To blackmail a man because he likes dressing in women's clothes.• You cannot blackmail a man who has nothing to hide.• Laura Channing was about to be blackmailed, and my money said Vecchi was the would-be collector on that deal, too.• The priest was being blackmailed by a woman who said he was the father of her child.• Was there an intention to try to blackmail her in some way as well as Derek?• The FBI blackmailed her into informing on the other members of the gang.• Gina tried to blackmail him, by threatening to tell his wife about their affair.• She had tried to use the photographs to blackmail him into marrying her.• Capshaw was going to try to blackmail him.• I am being blackmailed, in a way that the police can not help with.• We will not be blackmailed into silence.• It even crossed my mind that she might blackmail some one.• Nowhere is it easier to blackmail than in the criminal underworld and the grey areas of conduct that surround it.blackmail somebody into (doing) something• I reckoned I could blackmail him into a job.• James V blackmailed the papacy into allowing him to extort vast amounts of taxation from the church.• The waitress came round and blackmailed us into buying another cup of coffee.• We also know that the following day he blackmailed you into cocking up your career.• You've blackmailed me into spending money these past six years.• She bribed me with pasta and blackmailed me into writing a synopsis on my last night in Hawaii.From Longman Business Dictionaryblackmailblack‧mail1 /ˈblækmeɪl/ noun [uncountable]LAW demanding money from a person or organization by threatening them, for example threatening to tell secrets about them if they do not payMost of his wealth had been acquired through blackmail.blackmailblackmail2 verb [intransitive, transitive]LAW to demand money from a person or organization by threatening them, for example threatening to tell secrets about them if they do not paya man who blackmailed gay businessmen by threatening to expose their homosexuality→ See Verb tableOrigin blackmail1 (1500-1600) black + mail “payment” ((11-20 centuries)) (from Old Norse mal “speech, agreement”)