\ ˈdärk How to pronounce dark (audio) \

Definition of dark

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : 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
2a : wholly or partially black dark clothing
b of a color : of low or very low lightness dark blue
c : being less light in color than other substances of the same kind dark rum
3a : 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
4a : not clear to the understanding
b : not known or explored because of remoteness the darkest reaches of the continent
5 : not fair in complexion : swarthy dark skin
6 : secret kept his plans dark
7 : possessing depth and richness a dark voice
8 : closed to the public the theater is dark in the summer



Definition of dark (Entry 2 of 3)

1a : a place or time of little or no light : night, nightfall get home before dark
b : absence of light : darkness afraid of the dark
2a : a color of low or very low lightness : a dark or deep color usually plural a painter who uses a lot of darks
b darks plural : clothing that is dark colored separated the darks and the lights before starting the laundry
in the dark
1 : in secrecy most of his dealings were done in the dark
2 : in ignorance kept the public in the dark about the agreement
go dark
1 : to become dark The room suddenly went dark.
2a : to stop operating or functioning : to shut down Most Salt Lake City restaurants go dark on Sundays …— Kurt Repanshek Andy Beal was one of 220 million subscribers to Skype … who saw the service go dark on Aug. 16.— Stephen Baker In the end, the heart stops, the cells die, the neurons go dark— Joshua Ferris
b communications : to stop broadcasting or transmitting : to go off-line The roosters were just beginning to crow in that lost hour before dawn when Lt. Col. Steve Russell of the Army's 4th Infantry Division ordered his men to "go dark" and roll their Humvees up to the edge of a lone farmhouse here.— William Booth


darked; darking; darks

Definition of dark (Entry 3 of 3)

intransitive verb

obsolete : to grow dark (see dark entry 1)

transitive verb

: to make dark

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Other Words from dark


darkish \ ˈdär-​kish How to pronounce darkish (audio) \ adjective
darkly adverb
darkness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Examples of dark in a Sentence


She sat in the dark room alone. Soon it will be dark enough to see the stars. It was a dark and stormy night. Dark clouds of smoke were coming from the windows. She's wearing a dark suit to the interview. a man wearing dark clothing You've got dark circles under your eyes this morning. dark spots on the skin


He's 12 years old and still afraid of the dark. The burglars hid in the dark between the two buildings. He bought the kids special rings that glow in the dark. We'd better get home before dark. They waited until after dark to begin their escape. He uses lots of darks in his decorating. Wash the lights and the darks separately.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The show’s writers do a great job of portraying cruelty, such as Ethel’s brutal attack, but the real estate tie-in does a decent job of linking public respectability and the criminal dark side, another recurring theme throughout the season. William Lee, chicagotribune.com, "'The Chi': Season 2 goes out with a bang and a whimper," 16 June 2019 While nearly three million American tourists visit the Dominican Republic for its luxury hotels, turquoise waters and white-sand beaches, the country has a dark side. Patrick Oppmann And Angela Barajas, CNN, "Authorities say they are closing in on the person who ordered the hit on David Ortiz," 16 June 2019 The bar has dark wood and deep colors, chandeliers, art and moody lighting. Briana Rice, Cincinnati.com, "Here are 10 of the best LGBTQ-friendly bars in Cincinnati," 14 June 2019 According to photos, these accommodations are somehow perpetually cloaked in soft twilight or glowing against dark night skies. Sarah Feldberg, SFChronicle.com, "Glamping powerhouse Under Canvas to open four California camps," 10 June 2019 Mastermind, taps into Phoenix’s dark side to gradually transform her into the Black Queen of the Inner Circle and pits her against the X-Men. Tracy Brown, latimes.com, "Why a ‘Dark Phoenix’ movie could never do the beloved ‘X-Men’ story line justice," 9 June 2019 Either way, the dark side wins and the weakest among us are forced to suffer and die in abject anonymity. Annika Hernroth-rothstein, National Review, "I Was Kidnapped in Venezuela," 7 June 2019 Until July 7, 2019 The Pink Floyd Exhibition Victoria and Albert Museum back in 2017, here's a chance to disappear to the dark side of the moon and beyond in the company of Roger Waters, Dave Gilmour, and the rest of the band. Rick Jordan, Condé Nast Traveler, "What to Do in Madrid This Summer," 7 June 2019 Enjoy a night out: Observatory Park is offering free outdoor movies in the area’s only sanctioned dark-sky park. Joan Rusek, cleveland.com, "Laurel student Claire Fedor builds bridges to her future: Valley Views," 7 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Summerfest's July 4 show at the American Family Insurance Amphitheater with Megadeth has been canceled, leaving the amphitheater dark for an evening. Piet Levy, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Megadeth's Dave Mustaine diagnosed with throat cancer, cancels Summerfest show and tour," 17 June 2019 But another leader’s plans fell through, and Morsi ended up not only as candidate but also as a dark-horse winner. Laura King, latimes.com, "Ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi's death stirs memories of onetime democracy hopes," 17 June 2019 Being a father is a walk in the dark when the candle is in the wind. Paul Daugherty, Cincinnati.com, "Doc: Our fathers are always with us, a part of who we are," 15 June 2019 The 200-plus-year-old prints paint a dark, satirical look at common foibles of society and themes of aristocratic and religious oppression. Trevor Fraser, orlandosentinel.com, "Dalí Museum’s three new exhibits provide new perspectives," 13 June 2019 And, of course, everything is about to come crashing down as a dark secret threatens to destroy his world. Samantha Highfill, EW.com, "Paul Wesley will return for Tell Me A Story season 2," 12 June 2019 This energy lived inside Jean and eventually took her over, turning her dark. Sydney Bucksbaum, refinery29.com, "Uh, Jean Grey's Dark Phoenix Ending Needs Some Serious Explaining," 10 June 2019 Yet in Durant’s case, those playing in the series seem to share the dark with those watching it. Rob Mahoney, SI.com, "Kevin Durant Is All That Separates the Warriors From Survival and Defeat," 10 June 2019 Bring your blanket or chairs and enjoy free popcorn and lemonade at 8 p.m. The films, shown on a giant inflatable screen, start at dark. Joan Rusek, cleveland.com, "Laurel student Claire Fedor builds bridges to her future: Valley Views," 7 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Our unit members are taking their sites dark today to show management how important these issues are to us. Paul Farhi, Washington Post, "Vox Media employees walk off the job in day-long effort to win new union contract," 7 June 2019 Pick a champagne color for fair skin or gold for olive to dark skin tones,then swipe a little along the entire length of your cheekbones. Paige Stables, Good Housekeeping, "9 Sneaky Reasons Why Your Skin Looks Dull," 12 Oct. 2017 Each image has 28×28=784 input values, each a real number between zero and one representing how light or dark a pixel is. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "How computers got shockingly good at recognizing images," 18 Dec. 2018 One of the Green Berets, a weapons specialist, pulled aside the blanket and revealed a hole, perhaps 5 feet high and 3 feet wide, leading into a tunnel carved deep and dark into the hillside. Michael M. Phillips, WSJ, "‘I Think I’ve Been Shot’: Nighttime Raid in Afghanistan Reveals New U.S. Strategy," 5 Dec. 2018 The truth is Filipino people run the gamut from light skin to dark skin and everything in between. Jessica Andrews, Teen Vogue, "Kelsey Merritt on Making History as the First Filipino Model at the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show," 8 Nov. 2018 His background is a bit more freewheeling, but also dark: his father, a schoolteacher, is kind and supportive, while his mother, who suffered a traumatic brain injury years before, has a penchant for shedding her clothes in public. refinery29.com, "On Chesil Beach Review: Can You Have Love Without Sex?," 16 May 2018 Full Coverage Concealer, $5, available in nine shades that match light to dark skin tones, plus three color-correcting hues. Brooke Shunatona, Cosmopolitan, "The 30 Best Concealers That Will Completely Cover Your Acne," 22 Mar. 2016 Heavy Metal Flea Market isn't so literal; the event begins with metal as its starting-off point and explore everything from monster-movie culture to clothing to dark mystical stuff. John Petkovic, cleveland.com, "Now That's Class and Beachland Ballroom to host music-themed flea markets," 7 Dec. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dark.' 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 dark


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for dark

Adjective, Noun, and Verb

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

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More Definitions for dark



English Language Learners Definition of dark

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: 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



English Language Learners Definition of dark (Entry 2 of 2)

: 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


\ ˈdärk How to pronounce dark (audio) \
darker; darkest

Kids Definition of dark

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : without light or without much light a dark closet
2 : not light in color My dog has a dark coat.
3 : not bright and cheerful : gloomy Don't look on the dark side of things.
4 : arising from or characterized by evil The villain revealed his dark side.



Kids Definition of dark (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : absence of light : darkness I'm not afraid of the dark.
2 : a place or time of little or no light We got home before dark.

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More from Merriam-Webster on dark

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with dark

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for dark

Spanish Central: Translation of dark

Nglish: Translation of dark for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of dark for Arabic Speakers

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