from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Lacking or having very little light.
  • adjective Lacking brightness.
  • adjective Reflecting only a small fraction of incident light; tending toward black.
  • adjective Served without milk or cream.
  • adjective Being or having a complexion that is not light in color.
  • adjective Sullen or threatening.
  • adjective Characterized by gloom or pessimism; dismal or bleak.
  • adjective Being or characterized by morbid or grimly satiric humor.
  • adjective Unknown or concealed; mysterious.
  • adjective Lacking enlightenment, knowledge, or culture.
  • adjective Evil in nature or effect; sinister.
  • adjective Morally corrupt; vicious.
  • adjective Having richness or depth.
  • adjective Not giving performances; closed.
  • adjective Linguistics Pronounced with the back of the tongue raised toward the velum. Used of the sound (l) in words like full.
  • noun Absence of light.
  • noun A place having little or no light.
  • noun Night; nightfall.
  • noun A deep hue or color.
  • noun Pieces of laundry having a dark color.
  • idiom (in the dark) In secret.
  • idiom (in the dark) In a state of ignorance; uninformed.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Without light; marked by the absence of light; unilluminated; shadowy: as, a dark night; a dark room.
  • Not radiating or reflecting light; wholly or partially black or gray in appearance; having the quality opposite to light or white: as, a dark object; a dark color.
  • Not fair: applied to the complexion: as, the dark-skinned races.
  • Lacking in light or brightness; shaded; obscure: as, a dark day; the dark recesses of a forest.
  • Characterized by or producing gloom; dreary; cheerless: as, a dark time in the affairs of the country.
  • Threatening; frowning; gloomy; morose: as, a dark scowl.
  • Obscure; not easily perceived or understood; difficult to interpret or explain: as, a dark saying; a dark passage in an author.
  • Hence Concealed; secret; mysterious; inscrutable as, keep it dark.
  • Blind; sightless.
  • Unenlightened, either mentally or spiritually; characterized by backwardness in learning, art, science, or religion; destitute of knowledge or culture; ignorant; uninstructed; rude: uncivilized: as, the dark places of the earth; the dark ages.
  • Morally black; atrocious; wicked; sinister.
  • noun The absence of light; darkness.
  • noun A dark place.
  • noun A dark hue; a dark spot or part.
  • noun A state of concealment; secrecy: as, things done in the dark.
  • noun An obscured or unenlightened state or condition; obscurity; a state of ignorance: as, I am still in the dark regarding his intentions.
  • In the dark; without light.
  • To grow or become dark; darken.
  • To remain in the dark; lurk; lie hidden or concealed.
  • To make dark; darken; obscure.
  • noun An obsolete form of darg.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun Absence of light; darkness; obscurity; a place where there is little or no light.
  • noun The condition of ignorance; gloom; secrecy.
  • noun (Fine Arts) A dark shade or dark passage in a painting, engraving, or the like.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English derk, from Old English deorc.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English derk, from Old English deorc ("dark, obscure, gloomy, without light, dreadful, horrible, sad, cheerless, sinister, wicked"), from Proto-Germanic *derkaz (“dark”), from Proto-Indo-European *dʰerg- (“dim, dull”), from Proto-Indo-European *dʰer- (“dull, dirty”). Cognate with Middle High German derken, terken ("to darken, sully") and Albanian terr ("darkness").


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