or mirk



darkness; gloom: the murk of a foggy night.


Archaic. dark; murky.

Origin of murk

before 900; Middle English mirke, myrke < Old Norse myrkr dark, darkness, replacing Old English myrce dark Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for murk

dimness, gloom, murkiness, dusk

Examples from the Web for murk

Historical Examples of murk

  • All I saw moving was a heron; he was flying low, and disappeared in the murk.


    Joseph Conrad

  • It issued from the forest a mile away and its head was lost in the murk of the fields.

    Tales Of Hearsay

    Joseph Conrad

  • Through the murk Code could see the Nettie B. three miles ahead.

    The Harbor of Doubt

    Frank Williams

  • Or was there some prisoner like himself lost out there in the murk?

    Storm Over Warlock

    Andre Norton

  • Whistler or Monet might picture for us the murk and mystery of this pregnant gloom.

British Dictionary definitions for murk





gloomy darkness


an archaic variant of murky

Word Origin for murk

C13: probably from Old Norse myrkr darkness; compare Old English mirce dark



verb (tr) slang

to murder (a person)
to defeat (a team) convincingly

Word Origin for murk

C20: of unknown origin
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 murk

c.1300, myrke, from Old Norse myrkr "darkness," from Proto-Germanic *merkwjo- (cf. Old English mirce "murky, black, dark; murkiness, darkness," Danish mǿrk "darkness," Old Saxon mirki "dark"); cognate with Old Church Slavonic mraku, Serbo-Croatian mrak, Russian mrak "darkness;" Lithuanian merkti "shut the eyes, blink," from PIE *mer- "to flicker" (see morn). Murk Monday was long the name in Scotland for the great solar eclipse of March 29, 1652 (April 8, New Style).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper