Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

Dark Ages

noun
  1. the period in European history from about a.d. 476 to about 1000.
  2. the whole of the Middle Ages, from about a.d. 476 to the Renaissance.
  3. (often lowercase) a period or stage marked by repressiveness, a lack of enlightenment or advanced knowledge, etc.
Show More

Origin of Dark Ages

First recorded in 1720–30
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for dark ages

Dark Ages

pl n the Dark Ages European history
  1. the period from about the late 5th century ad to about 1000 ad, once considered an unenlightened period
  2. (occasionally) the whole medieval period
Show More
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

Word Origin and History for dark ages

1739, any benighted time in history, period of ignorance; specific focus on the centuries from the fall of Rome to the revival of secular literature is from 1830s.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

dark ages in Culture

Dark Ages

A term sometimes applied to the early Middle Ages, the first few centuries after the Fall of Rome. The term suggests prevailing ignorance and barbarism, but there were forces for culture and enlightenment throughout the period.

Show More
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.