- The definition of dark is someone or something not light in color, without light or sunshine, gloomy or evil.
- An example of dark is a black labrador retriever.
- An example of dark is a house at night without any lights on.
- An example of dark is midnight.
- An example of dark is the time just following the death of a loved one.
- An example of dark is Darth Vader from Star Wars.
A road through a dark forest.
- entirely or partly without light
- neither giving nor receiving light
- ☆ giving no performance; closed: this theater is dark tonight
- almost black
- not light in color; deep in shade
- not fair in complexion; brunet or swarthy
- hidden; secret
- not easily understood; hard to make clear; obscure
- gloomy; hopeless; dismal
- angry or sullen: responding to criticism with dark looks
- evil; sinister
- ignorant; unenlightened
- deep and rich, with a melancholy sound
- Phonet. back: said of vowels
Origin of darkMiddle English derk ; from Old English deorc, gloomy, cheerless ; from Indo-European an unverified form dherg- ; from base an unverified form dher-, dirty, somber from source dregs
- the state of being dark
- night; nightfall
- a dark color or shade
in the dark
- a. Lacking or having very little light: a dark corner.b. Lacking brightness: a dark day.c. Reflecting only a small fraction of incident light; tending toward black: dark clothing.d. Served without milk or cream: dark coffee.
- Being or having a complexion that is not light in color.
- Sullen or threatening: a dark scowl.
- a. Characterized by gloom or pessimism; dismal or bleak: a dark day for the economy; dark predictions of what lies in store.b. Being or characterized by morbid or grimly satiric humor.
- a. Unknown or concealed; mysterious: a dark secret; the dark workings of the unconscious.b. Lacking enlightenment, knowledge, or culture: a dark age in the history of education.
- a. Evil in nature or effect; sinister: “churned up dark undercurrents of ethnic and religious hostility” (Peter Maas).b. Morally corrupt; vicious: dark deeds; a dark past.
- Having richness or depth: a dark, melancholy vocal tone.
- Not giving performances; closed: The movie theater is dark on Mondays.
- Linguistics Pronounced with the back of the tongue raised toward the velum. Used of the sound (l) in words like full.
- Absence of light.
- A place having little or no light.
- Night; nightfall: home before dark.
- A deep hue or color.
- darks Pieces of laundry having a dark color.
Origin of darkMiddle English derk, from Old English deorc.
(comparative darker, superlative darkest)
- Having an absolute or (more often) relative lack of light.
- The room was too dark for reading.
- (of colour) Dull or deeper in hue; not bright or light.
- my sister's hair is darker than mine; her skin grew dark with a suntan
- Hidden, secret.
- Not clear to the understanding; not easily through; obscure; mysterious; hidden.
- Without moral or spiritual light; sinister, malign.
- a dark villain; a dark deed
- Conducive to hopelessness; depressing or bleak.
- the Great Depression was a dark time; the film was a dark psychological thriller
- Lacking progress in science or the arts; said of a time period.
- 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.
- The ending of this book is rather dark.
- (of a source of light) Extinguished.
- Dark signals should be treated as all-way stop signs.
- Deprived of sight; blind.
- (gambling, of race horses) Having racing capability not widely known.
(usually uncountable, plural darks)
- A complete or (more often) partial absence of light.
- Dark surrounds us completely.
- (uncountable) Ignorance.
- We kept him in the dark.
- The lawyer was left in the dark as to why the jury was dismissed.
- (uncountable) Nightfall.
- It was after dark before we got to playing baseball.
- A dark shade or dark passage in a painting, engraving, etc.
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”), Albanian terr (“darkness”) and Persian تاريك (tārīk, “dark”).