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 Other benighted parents could labor under this misunderstanding. Keith Gessen, The New Yorker, "Love and Anger," 23 Dec. 2019 Fryer risked his career for the sake of his benighted profession and for everyone who was hurt by the pathologizing of their identities. Los Angeles Times, "Ain Gordon unmasks gay history in ‘217 Boxes of Dr. Henry Anonymous’," 13 Oct. 2019 No graves will go unfilled and no enmities will be buried simply because the Royal & Ancient has seen fit to bring the Open to this benighted little province. Eamon Lynch, azcentral, "Open Championship at Portrush may be the only thing Northern Ireland can agree on," 15 July 2019 Theories abound as to why the Florida Man occupies a benighted place in modern America mythology. Chris Wilson, Time, "Florida Man or Not Florida Man? Guess Which of These Stories Happened in Florida," 26 June 2019 What followed was a numbing, exasperating experience, akin to waking up in a subterranean, benighted world. Abdi Latif Dahir, Quartz Africa, "The numbing experience of living through Africa’s growing internet shutdowns," 24 June 2019 Detectives Hays and West are, of course—as is ever the case in police shows—regularly frustrated by department superiors, whose benighted ideas about crime-solving carry the day. Dorothy Rabinowitz, WSJ, "‘True Detective’ Review: Grim, Gripping Entertainment," 10 Jan. 2019 Wiring benighted countries with not-the-latest technology is a very good business for Ericsson—and also the right thing to do. Aaron Pressman, Fortune, "Data Sheet—How Verizon's New CEO Wants to Do Good, Not Just Do Well," 11 June 2018 The enormous yellow menu offers both milchig and fleishig, dairy and meat, but in my opinion only tourists and the benighted opt for meat. David Remnick, Bon Appetit, "The Only Restaurant on the Upper West Side That Hasn’t Been Bettered Anywhere on Earth," 6 June 2018

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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Time Traveler for benighted

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for benighted

Last Updated

5 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Benighted.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 25 January 2020.

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More Definitions for benighted


How to pronounce benighted (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of benighted

formal : having no knowledge or education

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More from Merriam-Webster on benighted

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for benighted

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with benighted

Nglish: Translation of benighted for Spanish Speakers

Comments on benighted

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


dull or mediocre

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