(redirected from Blackmailed)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Financial, Idioms, Encyclopedia.


The crime involving a threat for purposes of compelling a person to do an act against his or her will, or for purposes of taking the person's money or property.

The term blackmail originally denoted a payment made by English persons residing along the border of Scotland to influential Scottish chieftains in exchange for protection from thieves and marauders.

In blackmail the threat might consist of physical injury to the threatened person or to someone loved by that person, or injury to a person's reputation. In some cases the victim is told that an illegal act he or she had previously committed will be exposed if the victim fails to comply with the demand.

Although blackmail is generally synonymous with Extortion, some states distinguish the offenses by requiring that the former be in writing.

Blackmail is punishable by a fine, imprisonment, or both.




n. the crime of threatening to reveal embarrassing, disgraceful or damaging facts (or rumors) about a person to the public, family, spouse or associates unless paid off to not carry out the threat. It is one form of extortion (which may include other threats such as physical harm or damage to property). (See: extortion)


noun exaction, extortion, hush money, illegal compulsion, oppressive exaction, protection, ransom, shakedown, taking by undue exercise of power
See also: coercion, compel, extort, extortion, graft, hush money, threaten


in English law, a person is guilty of blackmail if, with a view to gain for himself or another or with intent to cause loss to another, he makes any unwarranted demand with menaces and for this purpose menaces are unwarranted unless the person making it does so in the belief that he had reasonable grounds for making the demand and that the use of menaces is a proper means of reinforcing the demand. For Scotland, see EXTORTION.
References in periodicals archive ?
The Palestinian complainant said she wired him the money once but complained to the police when he blackmailed her a second time demanding more money.
The post Malekides: I never blackmailed anyone appeared first on Cyprus Mail .
To counter the response that these are cases in which the blackmailees are being blackmailed only into not doing something, Mack suggests that the factory owner might be blackmailed into donating money for Cambodian relief (278).
Unlike conventional theft, where the victim is likely to announce the violation of an antitheft norm, the blackmail victim is likely to conceal his blackmailer's norm transgression, so as to preserve the secret for which he is being blackmailed.
She alleged that after she sent her photos to the accused, the latter blackmailed her in January this year saying he would post her photos on Facebook if she did not pay him $2,000 (Dh7,340).
Children can fall into depression if they are blackmailed and it could lead to suicide.
He pressured and blackmailed government officials to settle the issues of his interest in their respective departments.
The Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice (Haia) has freed a woman from a person who had blackmailed her for 20 years.
But then called me and told me to pay him Dh25,000 and blackmailed me with the same threat".
In the trial the court heard how a BMW car and the video recording belonging to witness A was stolen in 2001 and within weeks, he was being blackmailed for pounds 5,000.
A mother-of-three who blackmailed a 65-year-old man and claimed he sexually abused her was given a nine-month suspended prison sentence yesterday.
He stopped harassing me for a few months, but then called me and told me to pay him Dh25,000 and blackmailed me with the same threat".