Idioms

    in the dark,
    1. in ignorance; uninformed: He was in the dark about their plans for the evening.
    2. in secrecy; concealed; obscure.
    keep dark, to keep as a secret; conceal: They kept their political activities dark.

Origin of dark

before 1000; (adj.) Middle English derk, Old English deorc; (noun and v.) Middle English, derivative of the adj.; compare Middle High German terken to darken, hide
Related formsnon·dark, adjectivepre·dark, adjective

Synonyms for dark

Synonym study

1. Dark, dim, obscure, gloomy, murky refer to absence or insufficiency of light. Dark implies a more or less complete absence of light: a dark night. Dim implies faintness of light or indistinctness of form (resulting from the lack of light or from imperfect vision): a dim outline. Obscure implies dimness that may arise also from factors that interfere with light or vision: obscure because of haze. Gloomy means cloudy, ill-lighted, dusky: a gloomy hall. Murky implies a thick or misty darkness: murky water.

Antonyms for dark

1. lighted. 2. bright. 8. cheerful. 9. pleasant. 12. clear.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for in the dark

ignorant, unaware, unknowing, uniformed

British Dictionary definitions for in the dark

dark

adjective

having little or no lighta dark street
(of a colour) reflecting or transmitting little lightdark brown Compare light 1 (def. 29), medium (def. 2)
  1. (of complexion, hair colour, etc) not fair or blond; swarthy; brunette
  2. (in combination)dark-eyed
gloomy or dismal
sinister; evila dark purpose
sullen or angrya dark scowl
ignorant or unenlighteneda dark period in our history
secret or mysteriouskeep it dark
phonetics denoting an (l) pronounced with a velar articulation giving back vowel resonance. In English, l is usually dark when final or preconsonantalCompare light 1 (def. 30)
go dark stock exchange informal (of a company) to remove itself from the register of major exchanges while continuing to trade

noun

absence of light; darkness
night or nightfall
a dark place, patch, or shadow
a state of ignorance (esp in the phrase in the dark)

verb

an archaic word for darken
Derived Formsdarkish, adjectivedarkly, adverbdarkness, noun

Word Origin for dark

Old English deorc; related to Old High German terchennen to hide
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 in the dark

dark

n.

early 13c., from dark (adj.). Figurative in the dark "ignorant" first recorded 1670s.

dark

adj.

Old English deorc "dark, obscure, gloomy; sad, cheerless; sinister, wicked," from Proto-Germanic *derkaz (cf. Old High German tarchanjan "to hide, conceal"). "Absence of light" especially at night is the original meaning. Application to colors is 16c. Theater slang for "closed" is from 1916.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with in the dark

in the dark

1

In secret, in concealment, as in This agreement was concluded in the dark. [Early 1600s]

2

In a state of ignorance, uninformed, as in I was in the dark about their plans. This metaphor often appears in the locution keep someone in the dark, meaning “deliberately keep someone uninformed,” as in They kept me in the dark about their plans. [Late 1600s] For an antonym, see in the know.

dark

In addition to the idioms beginning with dark

  • darken someone's door
  • dark horse

also see:

  • in the dark
  • keep someone in the dark
  • leap in the dark
  • shot in the dark
  • whistle in the dark
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.