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[dahrk-nis] /ˈdɑrk nɪs/
the state or quality of being dark:
The room was in total darkness.
absence or deficiency of light:
the darkness of night.
wickedness or evil:
Satan, the prince of darkness.
obscurity; concealment:
The darkness of the metaphor destroyed its effectiveness.
lack of knowledge or enlightenment:
heathen darkness.
lack of sight; blindness.
Origin of darkness
before 1050; Middle English derknesse, Old English deorcnysse. See dark, -ness
Related forms
predarkness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for darkness
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The darkness was so intense that it could be felt like a mist.

    The Rock of Chickamauga Joseph A. Altsheler
  • For all they knew they might in the darkness have been strolling into a town.

    A Prisoner of Morro Upton Sinclair
  • When he awoke, he found that the room was in darkness; it must have been night for several hours.

    Murder Point Coningsby Dawson
  • That he had gotten it as a reward for some deed of darkness he did not doubt.

    A Prisoner of Morro Upton Sinclair
  • He says, 'To the upright there ariseth light in the darkness.'

    Home Rule Harold Spender
Word Origin and History for darkness

Old English deorcnysse, from dark + -ness. Figurative use is recorded from mid-14c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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darkness in the Bible

The plague (the ninth) of darkness in Egypt (Ex. 10:21) is described as darkness "which may be felt." It covered "all the land of Egypt," so that "they saw not one another." It did not extend to the land of Goshen (ver. 23). When Jesus hung upon the cross (Matt. 27:45; Luke 23:44), from the "sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour." On Mount Sinai, Moses (Ex. 20:21) "drew near unto the thick darkness where God was." This was the "thick cloud upon the mount" in which Jehovah was when he spake unto Moses there. The Lord dwelt in the cloud upon the mercy-seat (1 Kings 8:12), the cloud of glory. When the psalmist (Ps. 97:2) describes the inscrutable nature of God's workings among the sons of men, he says, "Clouds and darkness are round about him." God dwells in thick darkness. Darkness (Isa. 13:9, 10; Matt. 24:29) also is a symbol of the judgments that attend on the coming of the Lord. It is a symbol of misery and adversity (Job 18:6; Ps. 107:10; Isa. 8:22; Ezek. 30:18). The "day of darkness" in Joel 2:2, caused by clouds of locusts, is a symbol of the obscurity which overhangs all divine proceedings. "Works of darkness" are impure actions (Eph. 5:11). "Outer darkness" refers to the darkness of the streets in the East, which are never lighted up by any public or private lamps after nightfall, in contrast with the blaze of cheerful light in the house. It is also a symbol of ignorance (Isa. 9:2; 60:2; Matt. 6:23) and of death (Job 10:21; 17:13).

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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