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

The cameras effectively went dark last summer until Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, a Democrat, stepped in with an executive order to reactivate them. New York Times, "2,000 Cameras Will Be Watching How You Drive in New York City," 1 July 2019 That appeal is centrally oriented around Berninger, whose dark humor and melancholy baritone can erupt into harsh, electric yells and eccentric, borderline unhinged body language on stage. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Summerfest 2019: The National, Tori Kelly and more of the best and worst from the side stages on Day 5," 1 July 2019 In the clip, Lawson can be seen combing through Beyoncé’s dark brown and blonde-highlighted hair, which reaches down to her waist. Robyn Merrett, PEOPLE.com, "Beyoncé Shows Off Her Real Hair as Her Mother Tina Knowles Praises Her for Being 'Au Naturale'," 27 June 2019 Then, a decade ago this month, his whole world went dark. Mike Berardino, Indianapolis Star, "A decade after tragedy, Peru's Chris Smith honors late wife's memory at U.S. Senior Open," 27 June 2019 The male suspect is a young, white man with short dark hair. Elise Schmelzer, The Denver Post, "Westminster police ask for assistance in locating potential kidnapping victim seen screaming for help in an SUV," 23 June 2019 Pennsyvania's Cherry Springs State Park, designated by the International Dark Sky Association as a dark sky park, offers stunning views of the galaxy’s nucleus as one of the world’s best places for stargazing. National Geographic, "Electrifying places to visit if you love science," 17 June 2019 Authorities were working frantically to restore power, but 10 hours after the country went dark, a third of Argentina's 44 million people were still without power and the cause of the outage remained unclear. sun-sentinel.com, "Massive blackout in South America leaves millions without power," 16 June 2019 While her boyfriend took photos, a woman dressed in white planted a long kiss on the grinning mouth, her dark hair whipping in the wind. Esther Allen, The New York Review of Books, "The Art of the Possible at Havana’s Bienal," 15 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

City disrupted by outage People who work in downtown Phoenix on Monday morning found closed streets and light-rail stops, as well as several buildings in the dark. Ryan Randazzo, azcentral, "Parts of downtown Phoenix could be dark for days after fire that killed APS electrician," 1 July 2019 For most of the novel Ms Di Pietrantonio keeps both her protagonist and her readers in the dark. The Economist, "The story of a lost girl," 29 June 2019 Dugo released a statement through Sierra that also said he was kept in the dark. Greg Moran, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Former No. 2 in DA office ordered secret probe into daughter’s ex-boyfriend, records show," 26 June 2019 For more information, visit MedMutual.com/SeniorAwards. Don’t keep us in the dark! Maria Shine Stewart, cleveland.com, "Awards galore adorn this week’s column: Sun Messages," 22 June 2019 Call it a shot in the dark, but the duo who helped save Grand Old Day have set up a GoFundMe online fundraising page in hopes of raising enough money to put on Fourth of July fireworks in St. Paul. Frederick Melo, Twin Cities, "St. Paul effort to fund July 4 fireworks raising tiny fraction of $125,000 goal," 20 June 2019 Varroc, Detroit Free Press Millions of Americans are driving around in the dark. Mark Phelan, USA TODAY, "Brighter, safer headlights are coming. The question is when.," 18 June 2019 Over at the Wolowitzes', Halley is suddenly afraid of the dark. Jessica Radloff, Glamour, "The Big Bang Theory," 5 Apr. 2019 Excavations since the 1700s have opened up a network of dark, cramped spaces called scavi beneath the four-hectare site of the cathedral. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Archaeologists map centuries of history beneath world’s oldest cathedral," 30 Nov. 2018

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

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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