ten·​e·​brous | \ ˈte-nə-brəs How to pronounce tenebrous (audio) \

Definition of tenebrous

1 : shut off from the light : dark, murky tenebrous depths
2 : hard to understand : obscure a tenebrous affair
3 : causing gloom

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Did You Know?

Tenebrous means "obscure" or "murky," but there's nothing unclear about its history. Etymologists know that the word derives from the Latin noun tenebrae, which means "darkness." "Tenebrous" has been used in English since the 15th century, and in the 20th century it was joined by some interesting relations. "Tenebrionid" is the name of a nocturnal beetle that is usually dark-colored and is also called a "darkling beetle." "Tenebrism" refers to a style of painting - associated with the Italian painter Caravaggio - in which most of the figures are engulfed in shadow but some are dramatically illuminated by concentrated light.

Examples of tenebrous in a Sentence

a tenebrous night with no moon in the midst of those tenebrous days Thomas Paine penned the immortal words “These are the times that try men's souls”

First Known Use of tenebrous

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for tenebrous

Middle English tenebrose, tenebrus, borrowed from Anglo-French tenebreus, borrowed from Latin tenebrōsus, from tenebrae "darkness" + -ōsus -ous — more at tenebrae

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The first known use of tenebrous was in the 15th century

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Cite this Entry

“Tenebrous.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tenebrous. Accessed 24 January 2020.

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a feeling of well-being or elation

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