Definitions

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

  • adjective Of a dark, dull, or somber color.
  • noun Dark, dull clothing.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • See subfusk.

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

  • adjective Same as subfuscous.
  • adjective Chiefty Brit. Drab; dingy; dull.

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

  • adjective Having subdued colors.
  • noun Dark clothing.
  • noun Clothing acceptable, by regulation at certain universities, for an examination or official event.

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

  • adjective devoid of brightness or appeal

Etymologies

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

[Latin subfuscus, brownish : sub-, sub- + fuscus, dark.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From the Latin subfuscus, moderately dark.

Examples

  • Sage's subfusc elegance serves as an all-purpose foil for food that represents his personal version of dishes that are hot all around the gastro-stratosphere.

    Taking a Chance on Vegas's New Spots

  • Sage's subfusc elegance serves as an all-purpose foil for food that represents his personal version of dishes that are hot all around the gastro-stratosphere.

    Taking a Chance on Vegas's New Spots

  • Sage's subfusc elegance serves as an all-purpose foil for food that represents his personal version of dishes that are hot all around the gastro-stratosphere.

    Taking a Chance on Vegas's New Spots

  • I believe they're all around us, but it's increasingly hard "to distinguish their gleam," as an English critic, Edward Garnett, was already lamenting in 1922, "amid the subfusc, swollen cataract of stories made to order."

    Are British or American Writers Better?

  • Sage's subfusc elegance serves as an all-purpose foil for food that represents his personal version of dishes that are hot all around the gastro-stratosphere.

    Taking a Chance on Vegas's New Spots

  • Sage's subfusc elegance serves as an all-purpose foil for food that represents his personal version of dishes that are hot all around the gastro-stratosphere.

    Taking a Chance on Vegas's New Spots

  • If you continue to labour under the delusion that your subfusc sniping constitutes debate then of course I would have no wish to disabuse you of this irredeemable condition, thank you.

    On Thursday, the Legg report will be published along with...

  • Thick carpet, subfusc curtains of pseudo-empire pattern and gilt-legged chairs combined to disseminate the atmosphere of a mausoleum.

    The Nursing Home Murder

  • This dusty and tedious little patch of time -- could she safely label it "drab" and have done with it, or would she find herself one day living through a period so relentlessly subfusc that this present lozenge would seem, by contrast, gay?

    Mrs. Miniver

  • I was in knickerbockers and khaki shirt; Mifflin in greasy gray flannels and subfusc Norfolk.

    Shandygaff

Comments

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  • "...Stephen, looking stuffed and sullen in his rarely-worn good coat, a comparatively subfusc garment."

    --Patrick O'Brian, The Far Side of the World, 57

    February 19, 2008

  • The Thespian, sipping the subfusc fluid, sighs 'I always drink it. Tastes exactly like draught Guinness.'

    - Peter Reading, Festival, from Fiction, 1979

    June 26, 2008

  • This sounds so much like a modern no-time-to-say-the-whole-word form, that I was surprised to learn it goes back to the 18th century.

    I think I like it.

    August 14, 2008

  • "Many of them were wearing the undergraduate subfusc, in various states of dishevelment."

    The September Society by Charles Finch, p 31

    December 11, 2011