be·​night·​ed | \ bi-ˈnī-təd How to pronounce benighted (audio) , bē- \

Definition of benighted

1 : overtaken by darkness or night Benighted travellers … have seen his midnight candle glimmering.— W. B. Yeats
2 : existing in a state of intellectual, moral, or social darkness : unenlightened spreading their message among these poor benighted people a strange, benighted country

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Other Words from benighted

benightedly adverb
benightedness noun

Examples of benighted in a Sentence

the poor benighted souls who do not know the joys of reading
Recent Examples on the Web Any benighted culture czar who happens to come along will have to contend with socially nourishing revolutionary art. Los Angeles Times, "Commentary: How about some culture in the Biden Cabinet? My nominees for Mr. or Madame Secretary," 18 Jan. 2021 Anyone who has struggled to write reference letters for any purpose, including those for mid-list employees, students, colleagues, and benighted nephews, will appreciate the art of convincingly saying nothing. Globe Staff,, "The Fast Forward 2020 Winter Bookies reading list," 4 Jan. 2021 Perhaps transforming her Democratic colleagues’ attitudes on the benighted agency and its purview might make for a good place for Fudge to start. Morgan Baskin, The New Republic, "HUD Deserves Better Than Marcia Fudge," 14 Dec. 2020 Wright understood that the process could be usurped, exploited by political organizers, agitators, and spokespeople devoted to the image of black ne’er-do-wells and miscreants who may be as benighted as Bigger Thomas but lack his nobility. Armond White, National Review, "Richard Wright’s Native Son, Re-released for the BLM Era," 30 Oct. 2020 So, after a bruising year, to which party can a benighted Big Tech CEO turn for support? Nicolás Rivero, Quartz, "Who is Big Tech’s candidate in the US presidential race?," 28 Oct. 2020 But few in the benighted country believe the official account, which is why Belarus has seen nearly three weeks of protests demanding Mr Lukashenko’s resignation. The Economist, "Schumpeter Telegram tries to blend security with usability," 29 Aug. 2020 Walking down a modern urban thoroughfare, the throb and dynamism of our benighted race is constantly on show. The School Of Life, CNN, "The School of Life Presents: Nature may be the antidote to our modern way of life," 27 May 2020 The next few weeks or months will tell whether Tegnell’s strategy is brilliant or—as many experts outside of Sweden believe—benighted. Peter Coy,, "The Swedish Model Trades More Disease for Less Economic Damage," 16 May 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'benighted.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of benighted

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of benighted was in the 15th century

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Last Updated

31 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Benighted.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Feb. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of benighted

formal : having no knowledge or education

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