• synonyms


See more synonyms for dusk on Thesaurus.com
  1. the state or period of partial darkness between day and night; the dark part of twilight.
  2. partial darkness; shade; gloom: She was barely visible in the dusk of the room.
Show More

Origin of dusk1

First recorded in 1615–25; back formation from dusky


  1. tending to darkness; dark.
Show More
verb (used with or without object)
  1. to make or become dusk; darken.
Show More

Origin of dusk2

before 1000; Middle English duske (adj.), dusken (v.); metathetic alteration of Old English dox dusky, doxian to turn dark; cognate with L. fuscus dark
Related formsdusk·ish, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

nightfall, twilight, sunset, sundown, dark, eventide, gloom, gloaming, night

Examples from the Web for dusk

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • He could not see her face, but he could hear perfectly the words that came through the dusk.

    Weighed and Wanting

    George MacDonald

  • At dusk, Littlefield lighted a fire, and began to cook his fowls.

    Ned Myers

    James Fenimore Cooper

  • In the dusk of the wooded shades behind him huddled the group of slaves.

    In the Valley

    Harold Frederic

  • Dick said nothing, but despite the dusk Woodville read the truth in his eyes.

    The Rock of Chickamauga

    Joseph A. Altsheler

  • The rain and dusk were so heavy that they could not see fifty feet, and they shivered with cold.

    The Rock of Chickamauga

    Joseph A. Altsheler

British Dictionary definitions for dusk


  1. twilight or the darker part of twilight
  2. poetic gloom; shade
Show More
  1. poetic shady; gloomy
Show More
  1. poetic to make or become dark
Show More

Word Origin

Old English dox; related to Old Saxon dosan brown, Old High German tusin yellow, Norwegian dusmen misty, Latin fuscus dark brown
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 dusk


c.1200, dosk "obscure, to become dark," perhaps from Old English dox "dark-haired, dark from the absence of light" (cognate with Swedish duska "be misty," Latin fuscus "dark," Sanskrit dhusarah "dust-colored;" also cf. Old English dosan "chestnut-brown," Old High German tusin "pale yellow") with transposition of -k- and -s-, perhaps via a Northumbrian variant (cf. colloquial ax for ask). But OED notes that "few of our words in -sk are of OE origin." A color word originally; the sense of "twilight" is recorded from 1620s.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper