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

  • adj. Lacking or having very little light: a dark corner.
  • adj. Lacking brightness: a dark day.
  • adj. Reflecting only a small fraction of incident light.
  • adj. Of a shade tending toward black in comparison with other shades. Used of a color.
  • adj. Having a complexion that is not fair; swarthy.
  • adj. Served without milk or cream: dark coffee.
  • adj. Characterized by gloom; dismal: took a dark view of the consequences.
  • adj. Sullen or threatening: a dark scowl.
  • adj. Difficult to understand; obscure: stories that are large in scope and dark in substance.
  • adj. Concealed or secret; mysterious: "the dark mysteries of Africa and the fabled wonders of the East” ( W. Bruce Lincoln).
  • adj. Lacking enlightenment, knowledge, or culture: a dark age in the history of education.
  • adj. Exhibiting or stemming from evil characteristics or forces; sinister: "churned up dark undercurrents of ethnic and religious hostility” ( Peter Maas).
  • adj. Being or characterized by morbid or grimly satiric humor.
  • adj. Having richness or depth: a dark, melancholy vocal tone.
  • adj. Not giving performances; closed: The movie theater is dark on Mondays.
  • adj. Linguistics Pronounced with the back of the tongue raised toward the velum. Used of the sound (l) in words like full.
  • n. Absence of light.
  • n. A place having little or no light.
  • n. Night; nightfall: home before dark.
  • n. A deep hue or color.
  • idiom in the dark In secret: high-level decisions made in the dark.
  • idiom in the dark In a state of ignorance; uninformed: kept me in the dark about their plans.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Having an absolute or (more often) relative lack of light.
  • adj. Dull or deeper in hue; not bright or light.
  • adj. Hidden, secret
  • adj. Without moral or spiritual light; sinister, malign.
  • adj. Conducive to hopelessness; depressing or bleak
  • adj. Lacking progress in science or the arts; said of a time period
  • adj. With emphasis placed on the unpleasant aspects of life; said of a work of fiction, a work of nonfiction presented in narrative form or a portion of either
  • adj. Extinguished.
  • adj. Having racing capability not widely known.
  • n. A complete or (more often) partial absence of light.
  • n. Ignorance.
  • n. Nightfall.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Destitute, or partially destitute, of light; not receiving, reflecting, or radiating light; wholly or partially black, or of some deep shade of color; not light-colored
  • adj. Not clear to the understanding; not easily seen through; obscure; mysterious; hidden.
  • adj. Destitute of knowledge and culture; in moral or intellectual darkness; unrefined; ignorant.
  • adj. Evincing black or foul traits of character; vile; wicked; atrocious
  • adj. Foreboding evil; gloomy; jealous; suspicious.
  • adj. Deprived of sight; blind.
  • n. Absence of light; darkness; obscurity; a place where there is little or no light.
  • n. The condition of ignorance; gloom; secrecy.
  • n. A dark shade or dark passage in a painting, engraving, or the like.
  • transitive v. To darken; to obscure.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • 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.
  • n. The absence of light; darkness.
  • n. A dark place.
  • n. A dark hue; a dark spot or part.
  • n. A state of concealment; secrecy: as, things done in the dark.
  • n. 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.
  • n. An obsolete form of darg.

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

  • adj. stemming from evil characteristics or forces; wicked or dishonorable
  • n. absence of light or illumination
  • adj. lacking enlightenment or knowledge or culture
  • adj. marked by difficulty of style or expression
  • adj. devoid of or deficient in light or brightness; shadowed or black
  • n. an unilluminated area
  • adj. (used of color) having a dark hue
  • adj. not giving performances; closed
  • adj. secret
  • n. the time after sunset and before sunrise while it is dark outside
  • adj. having skin rich in melanin pigments
  • n. absence of moral or spiritual values
  • adj. showing a brooding ill humor
  • adj. causing dejection
  • n. an unenlightened state
  • adj. brunet (used of hair or skin or eyes)


Middle English derk, from Old English deorc.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
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"). (Wiktionary)



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