dark

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English[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

From Middle English derk, from Old English deorc (dark, obscure, gloomy, without light, dreadful, horrible, sad, cheerless, sinister, wicked), from Proto-Germanic *derkaz (dark), from Proto-Indo-European *dʰerg- (dim, dull), from Proto-Indo-European *dʰer- (dull, dirty). Cognate with Middle High German derken, terken (to darken, sully), Albanian terr (darkness) and Persian تاريك (tārīk, dark).

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

A fairly dark (lacking light) railroad station, with a very dark (lacking light) tunnel beyond

dark (comparative darker, superlative darkest)

  1. Having an absolute or (more often) relative lack of light.
    The room was too dark for reading.
    • 1879, Richard Jefferies, chapter 1, The Amateur Poacher:
      They burned the old gun that used to stand in the dark corner up in the garret, close to the stuffed fox that always grinned so fiercely. Perhaps the reason why he seemed in such a ghastly rage was that he did not come by his death fairly.
    • 2013 July 20, “Out of the gloom”, The Economist, volume 408, number 8845: 
      [Rural solar plant] schemes are of little help to industry or other heavy users of electricity. Nor is solar power yet as cheap as the grid. For all that, the rapid arrival of electric light to Indian villages is long overdue. When the national grid suffers its next huge outage, as it did in July 2012 when hundreds of millions were left in the dark, look for specks of light in the villages.
    1. (of a source of light) Extinguished.
      Dark signals should be treated as all-way stop signs.
    2. Deprived of sight; blind.
      • John Evelyn (1620-1706)
        He was, I think, at this time quite dark, and so had been for some years.
  2. (of colour) Dull or deeper in hue; not bright or light.
    my sister's hair is darker than mine;  her skin grew dark with a suntan
    • 1915, Emerson Hough, The Purchase Price, Ch.I:
      Serene, smiling, enigmatic, she faced him with no fear whatever showing in her dark eyes. The clear light of the bright autumn morning had no terrors for youth and health like hers.
    • 1977, Agatha Christie, An Autobiography, Part II, Ch.2:
      If I close my eyes I can see Marie today as I saw her then. Round, rosy face, snub nose, dark hair piled up in a chignon.
  3. Hidden, secret, obscure.
    1. Not clear to the understanding; not easily through; obscure; mysterious; hidden.
    2. (gambling, of race horses) Having racing capability not widely known.
  4. Without moral or spiritual light; sinister, malign.
    a dark villain;  a dark deed
    • John Milton (1608-1674)
      Left him at large to his own dark designs.
  5. Conducive to hopelessness; depressing or bleak.
    the Great Depression was a dark time;  the film was a dark psychological thriller
    • Thomas Macaulay (1800-1859)
      A deep melancholy took possession of him, and gave a dark tinge to all his views of human nature.
    • Washington Irving (1783-1859)
      There is, in every true woman's heart, a spark of heavenly fire, which beams and blazes in the dark hour of adversity.
  6. Lacking progress in science or the arts; said of a time period.
    • Sir John Denham (1614-1669)
      The age wherein he lived was dark, but he / Could not want light who taught the world to see.
    • Arthur Hallam (1811-1833)
      The tenth century used to be reckoned by mediaeval historians as the darkest part of this intellectual night.
  7. With emphasis placed on the unpleasant aspects of life; said of a work of fiction, a work of nonfiction presented in narrative form or a portion of either.
    The ending of this book is rather dark.

Synonyms[edit]

Antonyms[edit]

Related terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

Noun[edit]

dark (usually uncountable, plural darks)

  1. A complete or (more often) partial absence of light.
    • Shakespeare
      Here stood he in the dark, his sharp sword out.
    • 1963, Margery Allingham, chapter 17, The China Governess[1]:
      The face which emerged was not reassuring. It was blunt and grey, the nose springing thick and flat from high on the frontal bone of the forehead, whilst his eyes were narrow slits of dark in a tight bandage of tissue. […].
    • 2013 July 20, “Out of the gloom”, The Economist, volume 408, number 8845: 
      [Rural solar plant] schemes are of little help to industry or other heavy users of electricity. Nor is solar power yet as cheap as the grid. For all that, the rapid arrival of electric light to Indian villages is long overdue. When the national grid suffers its next huge outage, as it did in July 2012 when hundreds of millions were left in the dark, look for specks of light in the villages.
    Dark surrounds us completely.
  2. (uncountable) Ignorance.
    We kept him in the dark.
    The lawyer was left in the dark as to why the jury was dismissed.
    • Shakespeare
      Look, what you do, you do it still i' th' dark.
    • John Locke
      Till we perceive by our own understandings, we are as much in the dark, and as void of knowledge, as before.
  3. (uncountable) Nightfall.
    It was after dark before we got to playing baseball.
  4. A dark shade or dark passage in a painting, engraving, etc.
    • Dryden
      The lights may serve for a repose to the darks, and the darks to the lights.

Translations[edit]

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

Derived terms[edit]

See also[edit]

Statistics[edit]

Anagrams[edit]


Italian[edit]

Etymology[edit]

English

Adjective[edit]

dark (invariable)

  1. dark (used especially to describe a form of punk music)