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 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 And then there are the rest of us — the benighted majority. Los Angeles Times, "Dark times, dark recipes," 24 Apr. 2020 The concluding sequence, grubby and majestic, rises to a height of luminous insight that’s also as benighted as all that came before. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, "What to Stream: The 1978 Film That Inspired Robert Redford to Found Sundance," 1 Apr. 2020 Enter intellectually weak and benighted, exit emotionally toned and trim, as if a novel were the psychological equivalent of kettlebells or a Peloton bike. Washington Post, "Reading will supposedly make you a better person. That’s not the real reason to pick up a book.," 9 Jan. 2020 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

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

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

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Last Updated

3 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Benighted.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Sep. 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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Nglish: Translation of benighted for Spanish Speakers

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