dark

adjective
\ 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

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 How to pronounce darkish (audio) \ 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

Because that, my friends, was one dark moment, even for The Bachelor, a show that features approx. Jenny Hollander, Marie Claire, "Colton Underwood Jumping the Fence Memes to Make You Laugh Through Your Tears," 5 Mar. 2019 Though the bright yellow blooms scream summertime, these spirit-lifting flowers are available all year round. In some parts of the world, dark blue or purple irises indicate royalty, according to Law. Carly Orleach, Woman's Day, "How to Make Fresh Flowers Last Longer," 15 Feb. 2019 The nearly four months between the election on Nov. 8, 1932, and the inauguration of Franklin Roosevelt as president on March 4, 1933, was one of the darkest moments of the American Century. John Steele Gordon, WSJ, "‘Winter War’ Review: Hard Times for Hoover and FDR," 21 Dec. 2018 An unexpected phone call brought a bright spot to a dark moment in Jason James Burnett’s life, offering a small measure of relief from the sadness of losing his California home to the nation’s worst wildfire in a century. Juliet Linderman, The Seattle Times, "California man gets word of pardon after fire destroys home," 27 Nov. 2018 As chic as platinum hair looks, going from a darker shade to light blonde could stand between you and your longest-possible hair. Blake Bakkila, Good Housekeeping, "13 Ways to Make Your Hair Grow Faster," 16 Aug. 2018 The video, presumably shot in her house in L.A., shows a dark room lit only by the dozens of candles on the ground and a giant neon pink heart in the distance. Nicole Saunders, Harper's BAZAAR, "Travis Scott Just Gave Kylie Jenner the Most INSANE Valentine's Day Gift," 13 Feb. 2019 The scars were dark and purple, but my joy outweighed them by miles. Allison Berres, Good Housekeeping, "Breast-Reduction Surgery Made Me Feel More Sensual, Youthful, and Confident," 9 Nov. 2018 The music video, premiering on Teen Vogue, features Luna showing off her dance moves in a telephone booth and seeing double of herself in a dark room. Ilana Kaplan, Teen Vogue, "Luna Blaise Debuts "Secrets" Music Video and Talks Her New Show "Manifest"," 11 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Not even Masterson’s agency was spared: Soon after the election, the Election Assistance Commission discovered that more than 100 login credentials had been stolen and put up for auction on the dark web. Benjamin Wofford, Vox, "The midterms are already hacked. You just don’t know it yet.," 25 Oct. 2018 Bitcoin and other virtual currencies, which are not issued by governments and can be directly exchanged from person to person without going through banks or other regulated institutions, are a preferred payment method for dark-web transactions. James Rufus Koren, latimes.com, "'Bitcoin Maven' sentenced to a year in prison for money laundering," 10 July 2018 Federal authorities say a Baltimore County made tens of millions of dollars peddling knockoff Xanax pills through the secret corner of the internet known as the dark web. Ian Duncan, baltimoresun.com, "Baltimore County man accused in $30 million dark web pain pill scheme," 23 June 2018 Agents analyzed his posts on the Dream Market forum, including tips on how to stay anonymous on the dark web. Jay Weaver, miamiherald, "Dark web's 'OxyMonster' pleads guilty to narco-trafficking, faces 20 years in prison," 12 June 2018 Its screen is designed for a variety of light conditions, with its non-reflective coating helping avoid a glare in sunlight and its built-in front light helping avoid tiring your eyes in the dark. Alexandria Haslam, PCWorld, "Our favorite Kindle reader, the Paperwhite, is on sale for 25 percent off today," 23 May 2018 Nearly a week after a powerful chain of storms swept across Connecticut, toppling trees and ripping down power lines, repairs to the electrical system continue and more than 4,000 people still remained in the dark. Nicholas Rondinone, courant.com, "Storm Outages Persist; Eversource Says 'Majority' Resolved By Midnight," 21 May 2018 No case better demonstrates this kind of hybrid crime than that of the Silk Road drugs marketplace, where transactions were carried out on the dark web and goods sent by mail. Simon R. Gardner, The Atlantic, "98 Years of Mail Fraud," 4 May 2018 It's gone from dark and dated to an upscale charmer. Joe Tamborello, Indianapolis Star, "#FreeWindlan, explaining Carmel resignations, Tenderloin Week, a Fishers fixer-upper," 23 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 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

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)

: 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 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.

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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