stark

adjective
\ ˈstärk How to pronounce stark (audio) \

Definition of stark

 (Entry 1 of 4)

1a : rigid in or as if in death
b : rigidly conforming (as to a pattern or doctrine) : absolute stark discipline
2 archaic : strong, robust
3 : utter, sheer stark nonsense
b(1) : having few or no ornaments : bare a stark white room
(2) : harsh, blunt the stark realities of death
5 : sharply delineated a stark contrast

stark

adverb

Definition of stark (Entry 2 of 4)

1 : in a stark manner
2 : to an absolute or complete degree : wholly stark naked stark mad

Stark

biographical name (1)
\ ˈshtärk How to pronounce Stark (audio) , ˈstärk How to pronounce Stark (audio) \

Definition of Stark (Entry 3 of 4)

Johannes 1874–1957 German physicist

Stark

biographical name (2)
\ ˈstärk How to pronounce Stark (audio) \

Definition of Stark (Entry 4 of 4)

John 1728–1822 American general in Revolution

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from stark

Adjective

starkly adverb
starkness noun

Examples of stark in a Sentence

Adjective

The room was decorated with stark simplicity. the stark reality of death This tragedy serves as a stark reminder of the dangers of drunk driving. There is a stark difference between them. His criticism of the movie stands in stark contrast to the praise it has received from others.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The look is reminiscent of actor Billy Porter’s tuxedo gown at the Academy Awards this year, except Beetz’s white skirt offers a stark contrast to her suit. Terry Nguyen, Teen Vogue, "Zazie Beetz’s Suit-Dress Is The Definition of Camp," 7 May 2019 Immediately, a stark contrast is drawn at court between Catherine’s vibrantly dressed, diverse crew, and the noble members of the very Catholic, very austere Tudor court. Alexandra Macon, Vogue, "In The Spanish Princess, Catherine of Aragon’s Wedding Dress May Be All the Bridal Inspiration You Really Need," 24 Apr. 2019 The stark contrast between them ignited debate and protests nationwide. Abby Gardner, Glamour, "The Time 100 List Includes Both Christine Blasey Ford and Brett Kavanaugh—and People Have Thoughts," 17 Apr. 2019 That marks a stark contrast from last summer, when health-care stocks emerged as a market leader, helping push U.S. indexes to highs in the late summer and fall even as technology shares came under pressure. ... Jessica Menton, WSJ, "Health Care, Once a Market Leader, Stumbles in 2019," 15 Apr. 2019 Photo: david klein/Reuters Compare Sarri to another manager finding his feet in his first season in England, Arsenal’s Unai Emery, and the contrast couldn’t be more stark. Joshua Robinson, WSJ, "Chelsea May Have to Hit the Reset Button, Again," 22 Feb. 2019 The fragility of their lives is stark against the vast and rugged landscape that is their home. Lynda V. Mapes, The Seattle Times, "David Moskowitz captures the beauty — and fragility — of the Northwest’s mountain caribou," 11 Feb. 2019 From the very beginning of our courtship, our style differences were stark. Liz Mcdaniel, Vogue, "I Love My Husband— I Didn’t Always Love His Headband," 4 Feb. 2019 The rhetoric in the interview was stark even by the standards of Trump, who had already provoked an international uproar at the NATO summit in Brussels. Seung Min Kim, Washington Post, "After disparaging his hosts, Trump meets with Theresa May," 13 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

Around the turn of the last century, our place, which is now surrounded by woods, sat stark on a bald hilltop with nary a tree in sight. Vogue, "3 Writers On Living Sustainably In 2018," 21 June 2018 Kruger’s stark, carefully laid out design cleverly turns the façade of an innocuous strip-building into the memory of a Greek temple, the classical style in which art museums were once conventionally built. Christopher Knight, latimes.com, "Artist Barbara Kruger turns a bland building into a screaming statement. Time to listen up," 14 June 2018 Joslyn Gray is the author of the humor blog stark. raving. Joslyn Gray, Redbook, "Parental Peer Pressure: A Game I Cannot Win," 12 Mar. 2012

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'stark.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of stark

Adjective

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

Adverb

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for stark

Adjective

Middle English, stiff, strong, from Old English stearc; akin to Old High German starc strong, Lithuanian starinti to stiffen — more at stare

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about stark

Statistics for stark

Last Updated

17 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for stark

The first known use of stark was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for stark

stark

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of stark

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: having a very plain and often cold or empty appearance
: unpleasant and difficult to accept or experience
: very obvious : very plain and easily seen

stark

adverb

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

: completely or fully

stark

adjective
\ ˈstärk How to pronounce stark (audio) \
starker; starkest

Kids Definition of stark

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : barren sense 2, desolate a stark landscape
2 : clear and harsh She faced the stark reality of poverty.
3 : very obvious The differences were stark.

stark

adverb

Kids Definition of stark (Entry 2 of 2)

: completely stark naked

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on stark

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with stark

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for stark

Spanish Central: Translation of stark

Nglish: Translation of stark for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of stark for Arabic Speakers

Comments on stark

What made you want to look up stark? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

one that collects or salvages junk

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Time Traveler Quiz: Which Word Came First?

  • time traveler quiz which word came first
  • Which came first?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!