dark

adjective
\ ˈdärk \

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

dark

noun

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

dark

verb
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

Adjective

darkish \ ˈdär-​kish \ adjective
darkly adverb
darkness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for dark

Adjective

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

Adjective

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

Noun

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

With temperatures dipping into the 20's this week on the East Coast, there's something that just feels right about a bold, dark lip. Jenna Rennert, Vogue, "Chrissy Teigen, Olivia Munn, and More Step Out in 2019's Biggest Red Carpet Beauty Trend," 14 Jan. 2019 In the photo, the new mother looks casual and comfortable in an incredibly soft-looking, pale pink hoodie and dark maroon pants with her shoulder length hair worn down in loose, natural waves. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Kate Hudson Shares a Picture of Herself Breastfeeding on Instagram," 13 Jan. 2019 Toward the end of the lifting process, the colorist applied dark brown hair color to the remaining hair to create an all-over salt-and-pepper effect. Marci Robin, Good Housekeeping, "5 Things to Know Before You Transition Your Dyed Hair to Natural Gray," 10 Jan. 2019 Chang'e 4's historic mission across the dark side of the moon continues. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "China's Rover Sends Back Pictures From the Far Side of the Moon," 7 Jan. 2019 Add chard and ¼ tsp salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until leaves are wilted and just tender and darker in color, 4 to 6 minutes. Woman's Day Kitchen, Woman's Day, "Swiss Chard and Beets," 7 Jan. 2019 What was once the brightest star, and brightest light ever, just got a little dark. Aja Romano, Vox, "Why the Kevin Hart Oscars backlash is different from other recent public shamings," 5 Jan. 2019 Whatever their styling, however, most vans rely on good lighting to keep the space from looking like a dark cave. Megan Barber, Curbed, "Camper van with skylights lives large in 100 square feet," 17 Dec. 2018 Several studied the fundamental identity divisions further polarizing and dividing the United States, while another focused specifically on the dark sides of social media’s influence on politics. Zack Beauchamp, Vox, "The 9 thinkers who made sense of 2018’s chaos," 27 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

After dark, the western Java coastline, home to some 160,000 people and normally crowded with tourists in beachside hotels and restaurants, is deserted as people seek safety from any potential new tsunami. I Made Sentana, WSJ, "Indonesia Tsunami Death Toll Expected to Rise as Crews Reach Villages," 25 Dec. 2018 Benjamin* had snuck into my apartment after dark, once my parents had gone to sleep. Iman Hariri-kia, Teen Vogue, "Teens' Biggest Sex Questions Answered By Their Peers," 13 Nov. 2018 In the courtyard, watch them traipse through the garden and poke into an airstream that turns into a star-viewing station after dark, telescope and all. New York Times, "Free (or Cheap) Things to Do in NYC This Weekend," 5 July 2018 Find Saturn in the southeast after dark, just above the constellation Sagittarius’s teapot shape. Blaine P. Friedlander Jr., Washington Post, "Skywatch: July is the month of Mars," 30 June 2018 After dark, the tour searches for blooms of bioluminescent dinoflagellates, small organisms in the water that produce a burst of light when excited by motion. Necee Regis, BostonGlobe.com, "Here, there, and everywhere," 12 June 2018 While Darkness on the Edge of Town is darker, edgier, and townie-er than its predecessor, the songs reveal Springsteen’s unshakable fascination with the world after dark. Kenneth Partridge, Billboard, "Bruce Springsteen's 'Darkness on the Edge of Town' at 40: Nighttime, Freedom & the Eternal Chase," 2 June 2018 April 24 * Officers located a group of teens in the parking lot of Fern Hill Wetlands after dark, all of whom took off running upon seeing the police car. Jim Ryan, OregonLive.com, "Violent assault suspect barricaded in Aloha; tactical team responding," 11 May 2018 Containing a single oak with branches outstretched in arboreal eloquence, it is surrounded by walls of dark stained cedar. Julie V. Iovine, WSJ, "A Buoyant Building for Looking and Learning," 12 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 Fun and dark all at once, the song is a feel-good revenge tune with powerful elements. Tamar Herman, Billboard, "20 K-Pop Songs for Your Halloween Playlist by BTS, BIGBANG, EXO & More," 31 Oct. 2017 Living humans come packaged in a wide range of hues — from pale and freckly in Ireland to dark brown in southern India, Australia and New Guinea. Carl Zimmer, New York Times, "Genes for Skin Color Rebut Dated Notions of Race, Researchers Say," 12 Oct. 2017 At McClellan, the air tankers work from 8 a.m. to dark if conditions allow. Hudson Sangree, sacbee, "Air tankers circle nonstop between Santa Rosa and Sacramento to fight wildfires," 12 Oct. 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

Adjective

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

Noun

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

Verb

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

dark

adjective

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

dark

noun

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

the dark : 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

dark

adjective
\ ˈdärk \
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.

dark

noun

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

Comments on dark

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