Definitions

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

  • adj. Serving to obscure or darken.
  • adj. Gloomy; dark.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. gloomy
  • adj. obscure

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Rendering dark or gloomy; tenebrous; gloomy.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Producing darkness. According to an old fancy, night succeeds to day through the influence of tenebrific stars.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. dark and gloomy

Etymologies

Latin tenebrae, darkness + -fic.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • "Now" (says the sympathetic Other Half-Rome), "begins the tenebrific passage of the tale."

    Browning's Heroines

  • We may again observe the correspondence between the change of dialect and change of tone in stanzas nine and ten, the increase of artificiality coming with his literary English and culminating in the unspeakable "tenebrific scene."

    Robert Burns How To Know Him

  • One Didymus is, moreover, related to have written six thousand books on the single subject of grammar, a topic rendered only more tenebrific by the labours of his successors, and which seems still to possess an attraction for authors in proportion as they can make nothing of it.

    The Biglow Papers

  • One Didymus is, moreover, related to have written six thousand books on the single subject of grammar, a topic rendered only more tenebrific by the labors of his successors, and which seems still to possess an attraction for authors in proportion as they can make nothing of it.

    The Complete Poetical Works of James Russell Lowell

  • The _cui bono_ of these doctrines may not, it is true, be expressible by arithmetical computations: the subject also is perplexed with obscurities, and probably with manifold delusions; and too often its interpreters with us have been like 'tenebrific stars,' that 'did ray out darkness' on a matter itself sufficiently dark.

    The Life of Friedrich Schiller Comprehending an Examination of His Works

  • They shine like suns, these two, amid multitudes of watery comets and tenebrific constellations, too sorrowful without such admixture on occasion!

    The Correspondence of Thomas Carlyle and Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1834-1872, Vol II.

  • They shine like suns, these two, amid multitudes of watery comets and tenebrific constellations, too sorrowful without such admixture on occasion! ” ” ” ” ” ” * Dr. Le Baron Russell; Theodore Parker. ” ” ” ” ” ”

    The Correspondence of Thomas Carlyle and Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1834-1872, Vol II

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