stark

1 of 2

adjective

1
a
: 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
4
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
starkly adverb
starkness noun

stark

2 of 2

adverb

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

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.
Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective
Kate's absence from public view is in stark contrast to King Charles, who is facing his own health battles. Stephanie Petit, Peoplemag, 28 Feb. 2024 This is Our Hawaiʻi The billionaires stand in stark contrast to the rest of Hawaii's residents — where on the Big Island specifically, median household income is around $74,000, according to county data. Dara Kerr, NPR, 28 Feb. 2024 But in stark contrast to their normal standing this time of year, they are not guaranteed a berth. Jon Wilner, The Mercury News, 28 Feb. 2024 Google's performance this month is in stark contrast to the rest of the Magnificent Seven, which is up 10% for February. Jj Kinahan, Forbes, 28 Feb. 2024 More pallid still is the dread planet Giedi Prime, where the cinematographer Greig Fraser makes a stark palette shift to black-and-white, as if to emphasize the vampiric quality of the Harkonnens’ fascism. Justin Chang, The New Yorker, 27 Feb. 2024 To drive the point home, Summers and company conclude with a few stark figures. Irina Ivanova, Fortune, 27 Feb. 2024 But today’s snapshot still represents a stark turnaround from just a short time ago. Meryl Kornfield, Washington Post, 27 Feb. 2024 In a stark contrast from his award-winning Elvis performance, Butler’s new gig required a villainous transformation into the cruel Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen, one of Dune‘s antagonists. Demetrius Simms, Robb Report, 27 Feb. 2024
Adverb
But the lack of health insurance, sick pay and other protections for many Americans, including Uber contractors, is stark now. Shira Ovide, New York Times, 11 Apr. 2020 The divide is stark between the two categories of states. Shawn Tully, Fortune, 24 Apr. 2020 The contrast is most stark between California and New York. refinery29.com, 1 Apr. 2020 The implications are undeniably stark: Informal caregivers will no doubt continue to absorb the majority of the strain. Grace Hatton, STAT, 24 Dec. 2019 But the climactic sequence of Midsommar features one of the last surviving Americans running stark naked across the noonday greensward with nobody obviously chasing him. Ross Douthat, National Review, 25 July 2019 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, 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, 14 June 2018 Joslyn Gray is the author of the humor blog stark. raving. Joslyn Gray, Redbook, 12 Mar. 2012 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'stark.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Adjective

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

First Known Use

Adjective

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

Adverb

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near stark

Cite this Entry

“Stark.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/stark. Accessed 5 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition

stark

1 of 2 adjective
1
2
a
: stiff sense 1, motionless
stark in death
b
: inflexible sense 3, strict
stark discipline
3
: sheer entry 1 sense 2a, utter
stark nonsense
4
a
: barren entry 1 sense 2a, desolate
a stark landscape
b
: having few or no ornaments : bare
5
: unadorned, harsh
stark realism
starkly adverb

stark

2 of 2 adverb
: wholly, absolutely
stark mad

Biographical Definition

Stark 1 of 2

biographical name (1)

Johannes 1874–1957 German physicist

Stark

2 of 2

biographical name (2)

John 1728–1822 American general in Revolution

More from Merriam-Webster on stark

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