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

  • adjective Overtaken by night or darkness.
  • adjective Being in a state of moral or intellectual darkness; unenlightened.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Overtaken with night; hence, involved in moral darkness or ignorance: as, benighted Hottentots.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective plunged into darkness
  • adjective overtaken by night
  • adjective lacking knowledge or education; unenlightened
  • verb Simple past tense and past participle of benight.

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

  • adjective overtaken by night or darkness
  • adjective lacking enlightenment or knowledge or culture


Sorry, no etymologies found.


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  • "...they had performed something more than one half of their journey, when they were benighted near an inn, at which they resolved to lodge..."

    — Smollet, Peregrine Pickle

    January 20, 2022