Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.

EXAMPLES FROM THE WEB FOR BLACKMAIL

She had been convicted of blackmail, and she made no pretense even of innocence.

If it's blackmail, Mr. Irwin, why don't you consult the police?

Ida has gone to warn her now in case she tries to blackmail you.

But there's no blackmail when you only take what belongs to you.

But it shouldn't be blackmail, if silence is the price of getting what really belongs to you.

There is no blackmail about this, even if you choose to call it so.

Has Guy Morrow returned yet from that blackmail case in Denver?

Yet you come here to blackmail me—yes, that's the word I used, and the one I mean.

Such instances of blackmail are much more frequent than are supposed.

"Ethics of blackmail," commented Mr. Travers with unexpected sarcasm.

WORD ORIGIN

1550s, from black (adj.) + Middle English male "rent, tribute," from Old English mal "lawsuit, terms, bargaining, agreement," from Old Norse mal "speech, agreement;" related to Old English mæðel "meeting, council," mæl "speech," Gothic maþl "meeting place," from Proto-Germanic *mathla-, from PIE *mod- "to meet, assemble" (see meet (v.)). From the practice of freebooting clan chieftains who ran protection rackets against Scottish farmers. Black from the evil of the practice. Expanded c.1826 to any type of extortion money. Cf. silver mail "rent paid in money" (1590s); buttock-mail (Scottish, 1530s) "fine imposed for fornication."

MORE RELATED WORDS FOR BLACKMAIL

bled

verbextort
Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.