the period in European history from about a.d. 476 to about 1000.
the whole of the Middle Ages, from about a.d. 476 to the Renaissance.
(often lowercase) a period or stage marked by repressiveness, a lack of enlightenment or advanced knowledge, etc.
Origin of Dark Ages
First recorded in 1720–30
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
British Dictionary definitions for dark ages
pl n the Dark Ages European history
the period from about the late 5th century ad to about 1000 ad, once considered an unenlightened period
(occasionally) the whole medieval period
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
Culture definitions for 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.
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.