darkness

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English derknesse, from Old English deorcnes; equivalent to dark +‎ -ness.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

darkness (countable and uncountable, plural darknesses)

  1. (uncountable) The state of being dark; lack of light; the absolute or comparative absence of light.
    The darkness of the room made it difficult to see.
    • 1912, Willa Cather, The Bohemian Girl
      Over everything was darkness and thick silence, and the smell of dust and sunflowers.
    • 1914, Louis Joseph Vance, chapter III, in Nobody, New York, N.Y.: George H[enry] Doran Company, published 1915, OCLC 40817384:
      Turning back, then, toward the basement staircase, she began to grope her way through blinding darkness, but had taken only a few uncertain steps when, of a sudden, she stopped short and for a little stood like a stricken thing, quite motionless save that she quaked to her very marrow in the grasp of a great and enervating fear.
  2. (uncountable) The state or quality of reflecting little light, of tending to a blackish or brownish color.
    The darkness of her skin betrayed her Mediterranean heritage.
  3. (uncountable) Gloom; gloominess; depression.
  4. (countable) The product of being dark.
  5. (uncountable) Lack of understanding or compassion; spiritual or mental blindness.
  6. (uncountable) Secrecy; concealment.
  7. (uncountable) Lack of knowledge; obscurity or meaning or intelligibility; the unknown.
    • 1899 Feb, Joseph Conrad, “The Heart of Darkness”, in Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, page 195:
      It was just robbery with violence, aggravated murder on a great scale, and men going at it blind - as is very proper for those who tackle a darkness.
  8. (uncountable) Hell.

Antonyms[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.

Anagrams[edit]