- Harold Rayns·ford [reynz-ferd] /ˈreɪnz fərd/, 1880–1972, U.S. admiral.
- Jo·han·nes [yoh-hah-nuh s] /yoʊˈhɑ nəs/, 1874–1957, German physicist: Nobel prize 1919.
- John,1728–1822, American Revolutionary War general.
- (usually prenominal) devoid of any elaboration; bluntthe stark facts
- grim; desolatea stark landscape
- (usually prenominal) utter; absolutestark folly
- archaic severe; violent
- archaic, or poetic rigid, as in death (esp in the phrases stiff and stark, stark dead)
- short for stark-naked
- completelystark mad
Word Origin for stark
- (stɑːk) Dame Freya (Madeline) (ˈfreɪə). 1893–1993, British traveller and writer, whose many books include The Southern Gates of Arabia (1936), Beyond Euphrates (1951), and The Journey's Echo (1963)
- (German ʃtark) Johannes (joˈhanəs). 1874–1957, German physicist, who discovered the splitting of the lines of a spectrum when the source of light is subjected to a strong electrostatic field (Stark effect, 1913): Nobel prize for physics 1919
Old English stearc "stiff, strong" (related to starian "to stare"), from Proto-Germanic *starkaz (cf. Old Norse sterkr, Old Frisian sterk, Middle Dutch starc, Old High German starah, German stark, Gothic *starks), from PIE root *ster- "stiff, rigid" (see stare).
Meaning "utter, sheer, complete" first recorded c.1400, perhaps from influence of common phrase stark dead (late 14c.), with stark mistaken as an intensive adjective. Sense of "bare, barren" is from 1833. Stark naked (1520s) is from Middle English start naked (early 13c.), from Old English steort "tail, rump." Hence British slang starkers "naked" (1923).