[ten-uh-bruh s]


dark; gloomy; obscure.

Also te·neb·ri·ous [tuh-neb-ree-uh s] /təˈnɛb ri əs/.

Origin of tenebrous

First recorded in 1375–1425; late Middle English word from Latin word tenebrōsus. See Tenebrae, -ous
Related formsten·e·brous·ness, nounun·ten·e·brous, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for tenebrious

Historical Examples of tenebrious

  • Inside he gazed through a long vista under a roof lost in tenebrious shadow.

    The Three Black Pennys

    Joseph Hergesheimer

  • No life-problem need remain unsolved with their bright spears to drive the tenebrious mists before them.

British Dictionary definitions for tenebrious


tenebrious (təˈnɛbrɪəs)


gloomy, shadowy, or dark
Derived Formstenebrosity (ˌtɛnəˈbrɒsɪtɪ), tenebrousness or tenebriousness, noun

Word Origin for tenebrous

C15: from Latin tenebrōsus from tenebrae darkness
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 tenebrious



"full of darkness," early 15c., from Old French tenebreus (11c.), from Latin tenebrosus, from tenebrae "darkness" (see temerity).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper