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darkling

[dahrk-ling] /ˈdɑrk lɪŋ/
adverb
1.
in the dark.
adjective
2.
growing dark.
3.
being or occurring in the dark; dark; obscure.
4.
vaguely threatening or menacing.
Origin of darkling
late Middle English
1400-1450
First recorded in 1400-50, darkling is from the late Middle English word derkeling. See dark, -ling2

darkle

[dahr-kuh l] /ˈdɑr kəl/
verb (used without object), darkled, darkling.
1.
to appear dark; show indistinctly.
2.
to grow dark, gloomy, etc.
Origin
1790-1800; back formation from darkling, adv. taken as present participle
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for darkling
Historical Examples
  • Immediately the square of darkling sky was eclipsed by the cabby's face.

    The Black Bag Louis Joseph Vance
  • The gloom of the darkling forests, too, had passed into the sunlit parks of delight.

    The Golden Woman Ridgwell Cullum
  • A darkling shade settled on the face of the devoted secretary.

    Victory Joseph Conrad
  • The cold, steely, darkling sweep of desert had been transformed.

  • Not that my desire failed, but aid came not to ferry me over the darkling waters.

    Saronia Richard Short
  • But soon the dusk won its will, and the darkling track lay empty.

    Northern Spain Edgar T. A. Wigram
  • She looked up, as I hesitated, and flashed that darkling glance of hers at me.

    The Copperhead Harold Frederic
  • Bonaparte fixed an eye, darkling as an eagle's, on Bernadotte.

    The Companions of Jehu Alexandre Dumas, pre
  • She carried some rugs for me through the shrubbery in the darkling.

    Tono Bungay H. G. Wells
  • Away in a darkling corner, under the organ, sate a squad of footmen.

    The Newcomes William Makepeace Thackeray
British Dictionary definitions for darkling

darkling

/ˈdɑːklɪŋ/
adverb, adjective
1.
in the dark or night
adjective
2.
darkening or almost dark; obscure
Word Origin
C15: from dark + -ling²

darkle

/ˈdɑːkəl/
verb (archaic or literary)
1.
to grow dark; darken
2.
(intransitive) to appear dark or indistinct
Word Origin
C19: back formation from darkling
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for darkling

"in the dark," mid-15c., from dark (n.) + now-obsolete adverbial ending -ling.

But having nothing to do with the participial -ing it does not mean growing dark &c.; from the mistaken notion that it is a participle spring both the misuse of the word itself and the spurious verb darkle. [Fowler]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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