Help Wordnik hunt for a million missing words by backing our Kickstarter!


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

  • adj. Having no light.
  • adj. Of or relating to the region of a body of water that is not reached by sunlight and in which photosynthesis is unable to occur.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. having no light, especially no sunlight
  • adj. describing that part of the deep oceans and lakes where photosynthesis is not possible

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Without light.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • In phytogeography, without light: applied to the deep level in a body of water in which only non-assimilating organisms can exist.

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

  • adj. lacking light; especially not reached by sunlight


a- +‎ photic (Wiktionary)


  • Sunlight rarely penetrates below 250 meters and this dark water without any light is called the aphotic zone. - Articles related to Scientists uncover mysterious workings of cholera bacteria

  • Kirk stood in silence for a long time, gazing at the aphotic depths of interstellar space.


  • Straining her eyes into the aphotic depths beyond the carved and painted pillars -- no two alike and all gaily colored like psychedelic barber poles -- she heard the whispery hiss of the torch as it burned in her hands and the faint, quick creaking of Antryg's belt as he moved here and there, drawing out a five-point star within the double circle around them.

    The Silicon Mage

  • Something swooped at her, some winged and flabby thing whirling out of the aphotic pits of this non-being; she felt it cut her arm, felt blood hot on the cold flesh.

    The Silicon Mage

  • In particular, light measurements are performed at sunset because increased prey and predator interactions occur at twilight, when animals previously hidden in the deep, aphotic (without light) zone migrate vertically up to the surface.

    Scientific American

  • In general, the deep sea is considered to start at the aphotic zone, the point where sunlight loses its power of transference through the water.

    Citizendium, the Citizens' Compendium - Recent changes [en]

  • Provided you according to aphotic skinned teens getting busy, that's one.

    We Blog A Lot


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • Sometimes I can't access the comments section on the word of the day--I was suggesting that we wander over to the word community. Whaddaya think?

    December 29, 2014

  • Shall we congregate on the word of the day, then?

    December 24, 2014

  • The river dives deep and it flows quick;
    The mists and the shadows will grow thick.
    That cavern caliginous
    Gives passage vertiginous
    To a world without sound and aphotic.

    December 23, 2014