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dusk +‎ -y


  • IPA(key): /ˈdʌs.ki/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ʌski


dusky (comparative duskier, superlative duskiest)

  1. Dimly lit, as at dusk (evening).
    I like it when it is dusky, just before the street lights come on.
    • 1907, Harold Bindloss, chapter 1, in The Dust of Conflict[1]:
      A beech wood with silver firs in it rolled down the face of the hill, and the maze of leafless twigs and dusky spires cut sharp against the soft blueness of the evening sky.
  2. Having a shade of color that is rather dark.
    The dusky rose was of a muted color, not clashing with any of the other colors.
  3. (dated, literary) Dark-skinned.
    • 1877, Henry Kendall, “Ode to a Black Gin”, in The Australian Town and Country Journal, page 24:
      You have your lovers - dusky beaus / Not made of the poetic stuff / That sports an Apollonian nose, / And wears a sleek Byronic cuff.
    • 1886 October – 1887 January, H[enry] Rider Haggard, She: A History of Adventure, London: Longmans, Green, and Co., published 1887, →OCLC:
      I think that he was a little horrified at my cool way of taking the honour, but the fact was that I did not feel overwhelmed with gratitude at the prospect of seeing some savage, dusky queen, however absolute and mysterious she might be, more especially as my mind was full of dear Leo, for whose life I began to have great fears.
    • 1887, Harriet W. Daly, Digging, Squatting, and Pioneering Life in the Northern Territory of South Australia, page 63:
      They "stuck on" fairly well, but sometimes these dusky jockeys fell off during the race.
    • 1903 April 8, Queensland Figaro, Brisbane, page 23, column 2:
      The dusky sons of Mohammed have been having a high old time down at the British India Company’s wharves during the past few days. [. . .] It was the great week of ‘Hobson-Jobson,’ as it is known out East, or the time of the Mohurram.
    • 1911, James Creelman, Diaz: Master of Mexico[2], D. Appleton and Company, page v:
      In the raw attempt to apply the perfected institutions of Anglo-Saxon civilization to the descendants of the dusky races which inhabited Mexico before the discovery of America by Columbus, the Mexican statesmen of 1824 put the principles of democratic government to a terrible ordeal.
  4. Ashen; having a greyish skin coloration.
    The patient was in shock and had a dusky skin tone.


Derived terms[edit]



dusky (plural duskies)

  1. A dusky shark.
  2. A dusky dolphin.
  3. A dusky grouse.