[ stahrk ]
/ stɑrk /
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adjective, stark·er, stark·est.
sheer, utter, downright, or complete: This plan is stark madness!
harsh, grim, or desolate, as a view, place, etc.: Her photos capture the stark desert landscape.
extremely simple or severe: With its stark interior and rough ride, the car scores low in our luxury car ranking.
bluntly or sternly plain; not softened or glamorized: He panicked suddenly at the stark reality of the approaching deadline.
distinct, sharp, or vivid: The thriving community gardens stood in stark contrast to vacant land and abandoned buildings.
stiff or rigid in substance, muscles, etc.
rigid in death.
Archaic. strong; powerful; massive or robust.
utterly, absolutely, or quite: stark mad.
Chiefly Scot. and North England. in a stark manner; stoutly or vigorously.
THINGAMABOB OR THINGUMMY: CAN YOU DISTINGUISH BETWEEN THE US AND UK TERMS IN THIS QUIZ?
Do you know the difference between everyday US and UK terminology? Test yourself with this quiz on words that differ across the Atlantic.
Question 1 of 7
In the UK, COTTON CANDY is more commonly known as…
Origin of stark
OTHER WORDS FROM starkstark·ly, adverbstark·ness, noun
Other definitions for stark (2 of 2)
[ stahrk; for 2 also German shtahrk ]
/ stɑrk; for 2 also German ʃtɑrk /
Harold Rayns·ford [reynz-ferd], /ˈreɪnz fərd/, 1880–1972, U.S. admiral.
Jo·han·nes [yoh-hah-nuhs], /yoʊˈhɑ nəs/, 1874–1957, German physicist: Nobel Prize 1919.
John, 1728–1822, American Revolutionary War general.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use stark in a sentence
Eventually, in perhaps the starkest act of discrimination here, much of the road was closed to Palestinians altogether in 1994."Obama, Come Here To Hebron"|Ali Gharib|March 20, 2013|DAILY BEAST
“It allows us to frame the contrast in the starkest terms possible,” a senior leadership aide said.The Democrats Target Millionaires|Patricia Murphy|October 7, 2011|DAILY BEAST
In Mandeville, and in Kaye, it is presented only in its barest and starkest form.A Letter to Dion|Bernard Mandeville
A sea-voyage lays bare many secrets and shows up human nature at its starkest.Jan and Her Job|L. Allen Harker
British Dictionary definitions for stark (1 of 2)
/ (stɑːk) /
(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
Derived forms of starkstarkly, adverbstarkness, noun
Word Origin for stark
Old English stearc stiff; related to Old Norse sterkr, Gothic gastaurknan to stiffen
British Dictionary definitions for stark (2 of 2)
(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
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