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

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 But the pictures in Salih’s series continually disrupt expectations of young refugees as benighted figures or objects of pity. Eren Orbey, The New Yorker, 28 Mar. 2022 The Russian economy is in free fall, with Putin’s benighted subjects already waiting in Soviet-style lines for staples such as sugar and flour. Kevin D. Williamson, National Review, 24 Mar. 2022 When Shortie is secured in the van, Gator — the PETA staffer who has made the most trips to this benighted place and has witnessed the dogs’ deterioration firsthand — is crying with relief. Gene Weingarten, Washington Post, 8 Nov. 2021 Our reduced olfactory apparatus was the detritus of a bestial and benighted past, and an allegory of our enlightenment. Scott Sayare, Harper's Magazine, 23 Nov. 2021 Even with a crime of national interest, like terrorism, the death penalty serves no useful purpose as the main foes are people willing to be martyred for their benighted cause, like the perpetrators of 9/11., 28 Oct. 2021 There are no borders between those benighted states and ours., 21 Aug. 2021 In the most benighted times, these resources included human beings sold into slavery. Tunku Varadarajan, WSJ, 6 Aug. 2021 What if problems once thought to be dispatched to a benighted past are back with a vengeance? Washington Post, 11 June 2021 See More

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.

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

1 Apr 2022

Cite this Entry

“Benighted.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 May. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on benighted

Nglish: Translation of benighted for Spanish Speakers


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