dark
Pronunciation
Adjective

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.
    1. (of a source of light) extinguished#English|Extinguished.
      Dark signals should be treated as all-way stop signs.
    2. Deprived of sight; blind.
      • 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.
    • 1603-1606, William Shakespeare, King Lear, i 1
      Meantime we shall express our darker purpose
    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, 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.
      • the dark problems of existence
    2. (betting, of race horses) Having racing capability not widely known.
  4. Without moral or spiritual light; sinister, malign.
    a dark villain;  a dark deed
    • 1667, John Milton, “Book 1”, in Paradise Lost. A Poem Written in Ten Books, London: Printed [by Samuel Simmons], and are to be sold by Peter Parker […] [a]nd by Robert Boulter […] [a]nd Matthias Walker, […], OCLC 228722708 ↗; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: The Text Exactly Reproduced from the First Edition of 1667: […], London: Basil Montagu Pickering […], 1873, OCLC 230729554 ↗:
      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
    • 1881, Thomas Babington Macaulay, “[https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Encyclop%C3%A6dia_Britannica,_Ninth_Edition/Johnson,_Samuel 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.
    • 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.
    • The age wherein he lived was dark, but he / Could not want light who taught the world to see.
    • 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 Antonyms Related terms Translations Translations Translations Translations
Noun

dark (uncountable)

  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.
    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.
    • 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]:
      Look, what you do, you do it still i' th' dark.
    • a. 1705, John Locke, “Of the Conduct of the Understanding”, in Posthumous Works of Mr. John Locke: […], London: […] A[wnsham] and J[ohn] Churchill, […], published 1706, OCLC 6963663 ↗:
      Till we perceive it 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.
    • The lights may serve for a repose to the darks, and the darks to the lights.
Synonyms Translations Translations Translations
Verb

dark (darks, present participle darking; 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.

Dark
Proper noun
  1. Surname



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