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

Google rebranded Android Wear as Wear OS last year, and has slowly been adding features such as dark mode and deeper Assistant integration. Michael Simon, PCWorld, "Google's Wear OS gets glancy with swipeable Tiles for news, weather, timers, and more," 1 May 2019 After years of tweaking the darkest shades at Sephora or mixing three different colors to match, I was used to putting in a little extra work. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "365 Days of Foundation: How One Vogue Writer Finally Found a Perfect Match," 18 Apr. 2019 The actress keeps her daughters somewhat in the dark about her career to help keep their lives as normal as possible. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Eva Mendes Didn't Think She'd Have Kids Until She Fell for Ryan Gosling," 16 Apr. 2019 Whether a space has high ceilings or a beautiful view, or is too small or a little dark, understanding the full scope of the project will determine what's needed from a decorating perspective. Monique Valeris, ELLE Decor, "A Celebrity Home Stager Reveals the Art of Decorating," 7 Mar. 2019 The line — which officially debuted in select Ulta stores this year — received renewed attention in 2018, earning viral praise for its decision to number the darker shades of its foundation coloring first. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Shade Inclusivity, Photoshop Bans, and Other Major Beauty Industry Wins in 2018," 27 Dec. 2018 That's right — your parents could be to blame for your dark circles. Sam Escobar, Good Housekeeping, "7 Surprising Reasons You Have Under Eye Circles," 7 Dec. 2018 The stands at San Francisco’s Oracle Park were empty, the hot dog carts were closed and the jumbotron was dark. Katherine Clarke, WSJ, "The Ultimate Home Field Advantage," 4 Apr. 2019 The story was dark and real, but the author still found places to be funny at times. Rachel Epstein, Marie Claire, "'The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls' Is a Stunning Debut From Anissa Gray," 1 Apr. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The calm markets of recent months have meant more trades are getting done in the dark. Alexander Osipovich, WSJ, "‘Dark Pools’ Draw More Trading Amid Low Volatility," 3 May 2019 And while fans are typically left in the dark until the makeup hits store shelves, Fenty Beauty went ahead and confirmed that its founder just dropped a major makeup clue. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Rihanna Wore Unreleased Fenty Beauty Product on the "Harper’s Bazaar" May Cover," 17 Apr. 2019 Many pilots now say Boeing’s choices for the 737 MAX left them in the dark about a new feature whose malfunctioning has been implicated in one deadly crash and is under scrutiny for a possible role in a second—disasters that claimed 346 lives. ... Alison Sider, WSJ, "How Boeing’s 737 MAX Failed," 27 Mar. 2019 True life for me was when the red curtain was up, the audience in the dark. Laird Borrelli-persson, Vogue, "Talking With @fkachristianlacroix, aka the Real Christian Lacroix, About Instagram and the 1980s," 13 Mar. 2019 For the newcomers, entering the dark and twisted PLL world is a dream come true. De Elizabeth, Teen Vogue, "The "Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists" Stars Even Keep Secrets From Each Other," 15 Mar. 2019 Somewhere in the dark waited a 2020 Porsche 911 Carrera S, in Guard Red, the eighth generation of the company’s humpbacked, ass-engined masterpiece. Dan Neil, WSJ, "2020 Porsche 911: One Last Hurrah Before Going Electric," 14 Mar. 2019 Her brood looked all grown up, dressing in dark and neutral colors to match with her chic coat dress. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Angelina Jolie Brought All Six of Her Kids to a Film Screening in NYC," 26 Feb. 2019 The dark counters add a level of sophistication, and the OTTAVA pendant light makes a statement over the island. Jessica Dailey, Good Housekeeping, "Your Style," 11 Feb. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 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

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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