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Idioms about dark

    in the dark,
    1. in ignorance; uninformed:He was in the dark about their plans for the evening.
    2. in secrecy; concealed; obscure.
    keep dark, to keep as a secret; conceal: They kept their political activities dark.

Origin of dark

before 1000; (adj.) Middle English derk,Old English deorc; (noun and v.) Middle English, derivative of the adj.; compare Middle High German terken to darken, hide

synonym study for dark

1. Dark, dim, obscure, gloomy, murky refer to absence or insufficiency of light. Dark implies a more or less complete absence of light: a dark night. Dim implies faintness of light or indistinctness of form (resulting from the lack of light or from imperfect vision): a dim outline. Obscure implies dimness that may arise also from factors that interfere with light or vision: obscure because of haze. Gloomy means cloudy, ill-lighted, dusky: a gloomy hall. Murky implies a thick or misty darkness: murky water.


non·dark, adjectivepre·dark, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What is a basic definition of dark?

Dark describes something that lacks or has very little light. Dark is the absence of light. Dark also describes something that is depressing or evil. The word dark has several other senses as an adjective, noun, and a verb.

If something is dark, it means that it has no light or has very small amounts of light.

Real-life examples: If you turn the lights off in a room, the room becomes dark. When the sun sets at night, it becomes very dark outside. A dark alley has no streetlights, making it very hard to see anything.

Used in a sentence: He used a flashlight to help him see in the dark cellar. 

In this sense, dark also refers to an absence of light. The dark is the deep blackness such as you see when you close your eyes.

Real-life examples: Many children are afraid of the dark. It is usually a good idea not to wander outside in the dark because of nocturnal animals.

Used in a sentence: The wolf ran into the cave and disappeared into the dark. 

Dark also describes something that is gloomy, depressing, or grim. You probably know some movies or books you would call dark because they don’t have a happy ending or are very depressing.

Real-life examples: The stories of Edgar Allen Poe are usually dark, containing death and sad endings. Horror movies tend to be dark, as they are often full of depressing events and unhappy endings. Dark comedy uses depressing or sad topics to make tragicomedy.

Used in a sentence: We went through some dark days after our friend died. 

Dark can also describe something that is evil or wicked.

Real-life examples: Bad guys perform dark deeds. The heroes of stories will try to stop the dark plots of the villains.

Used in a sentence: The heroine had an exciting sword fight with the dark lord in his evil lair.

Where does dark come from?

The first records of the adjective dark come from before the year 1000. It ultimately comes from the Old English deorc. The first records of the noun and verb senses of dark come from the adjective sense during Middle English.

Did you know ... ?

What are some other forms related to dark?

What are some synonyms for dark?

What are some words that share a root or word element with dark

What are some words that often get used in discussing dark?

How is dark used in real life?

Dark is a common word with several different meanings. It most often refers to something that lacks light and makes it hard to see.



Try using dark!

Is dark used correctly in the following sentence?

He slammed his knee against the table because he couldn’t see anything in the dark living room.

How to use dark in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for dark

/ (dɑːk) /

an archaic word for darken

Derived forms of dark

darkish, adjectivedarkly, adverbdarkness, noun

Word Origin for dark

Old English deorc; related to Old High German terchennen to hide
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

Other Idioms and Phrases with dark


The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.