adjective, dusk·i·er, dusk·i·est.

somewhat dark; having little light; dim; shadowy.
Older Use: Chiefly Literary. having dark skin.
of a dark color.
gloomy; sad.

Origin of dusky

First recorded in 1550–60; dusk2 + -y1
Related formsdusk·i·ly, adverbdusk·i·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for dusky

Contemporary Examples of dusky

Historical Examples of dusky

  • Do you observe this red glow,—dusky, too, amid all the brightness?

    Other Tales and Sketches

    Nathaniel Hawthorne

  • An Indian, half hidden in the dusky shade, is gazing and wondering too.

    Main Street

    Nathaniel Hawthorne

  • In a little time, there was a crucifix on every dusky bosom.

    A Bell's Biography

    Nathaniel Hawthorne

  • As for George, he had withdrawn into the dusky shadow behind his father's chair.

    Biographical Stories

    Nathaniel Hawthorne

  • There against the outer wall stood a dusky ill-defined shape.

    Wilfrid Cumbermede

    George MacDonald

British Dictionary definitions for dusky


adjective duskier or duskiest

dark in colour; swarthy or dark-skinned
Derived Formsduskily, adverbduskiness, noun
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 dusky

1550s, "somewhat dark," from dusk + -y (2). Related: Duskiness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper