dark

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English[edit]

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Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English derk, from Old English deorc (dark, obscure, gloomy, without light, dreadful, horrible, sad, cheerless, sinister, wicked), from Proto-West Germanic *derk (dark), from Proto-Indo-European *dʰerg- (dim, dull), from Proto-Indo-European *dʰer- (dull, dirty).

Adjective[edit]

A fairly dark (lacking light) railroad station, with a very dark (lacking light) tunnel beyond
A woman with dark hair and skin.

dark (comparative darker, superlative darkest)

  1. Having an absolute or (more often) relative lack of light.
    The room was too dark for reading.
    • 1879, R[ichard] J[efferies], chapter 1, in The Amateur Poacher, London: Smith, Elder, & Co., [], OCLC 752825175:
      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. And why else was he put away up there out of sight?—and so magnificent a brush as he had too.
    • 2013 July 20, “Out of the gloom”, in 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.
      • 29 March 1661 (entry), 1818 (first published), John Evelyn, {{w|John Evelyn's Diary|Diary
        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
    • 1910, Emerson Hough, chapter I, in The Purchase Price: Or The Cause of Compromise, Indianapolis, Ind.: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, OCLC 639762314, page 0045:
      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, chapter 2, in An Autobiography, part II, London: Collins, →ISBN:
      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.
      • c. 1595–1596, William Shakespeare, “Loues Labour’s Lost”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act V, scene ii]:
        What's your dark meaning, mouse, of this light word?
      • 1594-, Richard Hooker, Of the Lawes of Ecclesiastical Politie
        What may seem dark at the first, will afterward be found more plain.
      • 1801, Isaac Watts, The improvement of the mind, or A supplement to the art of logic
        It is the remark of an ingenious writer, should a barbarous Indian, who had never seen a palace or a ship, view their separate and disjointed parts, and observe the pillars, doors, windows, cornices and turrets of the one, or the prow and stern, the ribs and masts, the ropes and shrouds, the sails and tackle of the other, he would be able to form but a very lame and dark idea of either of those excellent and useful inventions.
      • (Can we date this quote by John Campbell Shairp and provide title, author’s full name, and other details?)
        the dark problems of existence
    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
  5. Conducive to hopelessness; depressing or bleak.
    the Great Depression was a dark time;  the film was a dark psychological thriller
    • 1881, Thomas Babington Macaulay, “Samuel Johnson”, in Encyclopædia Britannica, Ninth Edition:
      A deep melancholy took possession of him, and gave a dark tinge to all his views of human nature.
    • 1819-1820, Washington Irving, The Sketch Book
      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.
    • (Can we date this quote by Sir John Denham (poet) and provide title, author’s full name, and other details?), The Progress of Learning
      The age wherein he lived was dark, but he / Could not want light who taught the world to see.
    • (Can we date this quote by Arthur Hallam and provide title, author’s full name, and other details?)
      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]
Derived terms[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 Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English derk, derke, dirke, dyrke, from the adjective (see above), or possibly from an unrecorded Old English *dierce, *diercu (dark, darkness).

Noun[edit]

dark (usually uncountable, plural darks)

  1. A complete or (more often) partial absence of light.
    • c. 1603–1606, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of King Lear”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act II, scene i]:
      Here stood he in the dark, his sharp sword out.
    • 1963, Margery Allingham, chapter 17, in 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”, in 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.
  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.

Synonyms[edit]

Derived 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 Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Etymology 3[edit]

From Middle English derken, from Old English deorcian, from Proto-West Germanic *derkōn.

Verb[edit]

dark (third-person singular simple present darks, present participle darking, simple past and past participle darked)

  1. (intransitive) To grow or become dark, darken.
  2. (intransitive) To remain in the dark, lurk, lie hidden or concealed.
  3. (transitive) To make dark, darken; to obscure.

See also[edit]

Anagrams[edit]


Italian[edit]

Etymology[edit]

English

Adjective[edit]

dark (invariable)

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