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in law, exaction of money from another by threatthreat,
in law, declaration of intent to injure another by doing an unlawful act, with a view to restraining his freedom of action. A threat is distinguishable from an assault, for an assault requires some physical act that appears likely to eventuate in violence, whereas a
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 of exposure of criminal action or of disreputable conduct. The term was originally used for the tribute levied until the 18th cent. upon the inhabitants of the Scottish border to provide immunity from raids by Scottish bands. Statutes often treat blackmail as a form of extortionextortion,
in law, unlawful demanding or receiving by an officer, in his official capacity, of any property or money not legally due to him. Examples include requesting and accepting fees in excess of those allowed to him by statute or arresting a person and, with corrupt
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See also Bribery.
Blackness (See NIGHT.)
Blasphemy (See APOSTASY.)
adventurer and extortionist. [Br. Lit.: Little Dorrit]
extorts to achieve personal ends. [Br. Lit.: Barnaby Rudge]
threatens murder and dishonor to bed Lucretia. [Rom. Lit.: Fasti; Livy; Br. Lit.: The Rape of Lucrece]
Wegg, Silas
attempts to blackmail Boffin. [Br. Lit.: Our Mutual Friend]
References in classic literature ?
For the whole air was dense with the morbidity of blackmail, which is the most morbid of human things, because it is a crime concealing a crime; a black plaster on a blacker wound.
You would practically blackmail the father of the girl you love?
Bullying him] How dare you come here and attempt to blackmail me?
This gentleman, who collected fine editions and was a patron of literature, paid blackmail to a heavy-jowled, black- browed boss of a municipal machine.