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adjective \ˈdärk\

Simple Definition of dark

  • : having very little or no light

  • : not light in color : of a color that is closer to black than white

  • of a color : having more black than white : not light

Full Definition of dark

  1. 1 a :  devoid or partially devoid of light :  not receiving, reflecting, transmitting, or radiating light <a dark room> b :  transmitting only a portion of light <dark glasses>

  2. 2 a :  wholly or partially black <dark clothing> b of a color :  of low or very low lightness c :  being less light in color than other substances of the same kind <dark rum>

  3. 3 a :  arising from or showing evil traits or desires :  evil <the dark powers that lead to war> b :  dismal, gloomy <had a dark view of the future> c :  lacking knowledge or culture :  unenlightened <a dark period in history> d :  relating to grim or depressing circumstances <dark humor>

  4. 4 a :  not clear to the understanding b :  not known or explored because of remoteness <the darkest reaches of the continent>

  5. 5 :  not fair in complexion :  swarthy

  6. 6 :  secret <kept his plans dark>

  7. 7 :  possessing depth and richness <a dark voice>

  8. 8 :  closed to the public <the theater is dark in the summer>

dark·ish play \ˈdär-kish\ adjective
dark·ly adverb
dark·ness noun

Examples of dark

  1. She sat in the dark room alone.

  2. Soon it will be dark enough to see the stars.

  3. It was a dark and stormy night.

  4. Dark clouds of smoke were coming from the windows.

  5. She's wearing a dark suit to the interview.

  6. a man wearing dark clothing

  7. You've got dark circles under your eyes this morning.

  8. dark spots on the skin

Origin of dark

Middle English derk, from Old English deorc; akin to Old High German tarchannen to hide

First Known Use: before 12th century

Synonym Discussion of dark

obscure, dark, vague, enigmatic, cryptic, ambiguous, equivocal mean not clearly understandable. obscure implies a hiding or veiling of meaning through some inadequacy of expression or withholding of full knowledge <obscure poems>. dark implies an imperfect or clouded revelation often with ominous or sinister suggestion <muttered dark hints of revenge>. vague implies a lack of clear formulation due to inadequate conception or consideration <a vague sense of obligation>. enigmatic stresses a puzzling, mystifying quality <enigmatic occult writings>. cryptic implies a purposely concealed meaning <cryptic hints of hidden treasure>. ambiguous applies to language capable of more than one interpretation <an ambiguous directive>. equivocal applies to language left open to differing interpretations with the intention of deceiving or evading <moral precepts with equivocal phrasing>.

Rhymes with dark




Simple Definition of dark

  • the dark : a state in which no light can be seen

  • : a place where little or no light can be seen

  • : the time of day when night begins : the time when the sky becomes dark for the night

Full Definition of dark

  1. 1 a :  a place or time of little or no light :  night, nightfall b :  absence of light :  darkness

  2. 2 :  a dark or deep color

in the dark
  1. 1 :  in secrecy <most of his dealings were done in the dark>

  2. 2 :  in ignorance <kept the public in the dark about the agreement>

Examples of dark

  1. He's 12 years old and still afraid of the dark.

  2. The burglars hid in the dark between the two buildings.

  3. He bought the kids special rings that glow in the dark.

  4. We'd better get home before dark.

  5. They waited until after dark to begin their escape.

  6. He uses lots of darks in his decorating.

  7. Wash the lights and the darks separately.

13th Century

First Known Use of dark

13th century




Definition of dark


  1. intransitive verb
  2. :  to grow dark

  3. transitive verb
  4. :  to make dark

14th Century

First Known Use of dark

14th century

DARKLY Defined for Kids


adverb dark·ly \ˈdärk-lē\

Definition of darkly

  1. 1 :  with a dark or blackish color <a darkly painted room>

  2. 2 :  with a gloomy or threatening manner or quality <“It's hopeless,” he said darkly.>

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up dark? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


February 12, 2016

of, relating to, or suggestive of marble

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