dark

dark adj
1 Dark, dim, dusky, obscure, murky, gloomy mean partly or wholly destitute of light.
Dark, the ordinary word and the most general of these terms, implies a lack of the illumination necessary to enable one to see or to identify what is before him. It may imply lack of natural illumination (as by the sun or moon)
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a dark forest

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a dark night

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or of artificial illumination (as by gas or electricity)
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a dark room

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or a lack of immaterial light (as cheerfulness)
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a dark mood

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a dark countenance

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or of moral or spiritual light
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a dark deed

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or of brilliance—that is, the quality of lightness in color
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a dark blue

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Dim suggests just so much darkness that the things before one cannot be seen clearly or in their distinct or characteristic outlines: it may be applied equally to things viewed or to a source of illumination
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the light has grown dim

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dim stars

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he could just make out dim figures in the distance

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It may designate a usually bright thing that is dulled or softened
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a . . . dim and tender red— Hudson

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a dim image of their glorious vitality— Krutch

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or a place or time that is nearly dark
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scrambled over to join the other ghosts out on the dim common— Galsworthy

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{

the hazy light . . . reminded him of the dim distances of his own . . . country— Anderson

}
Dim as applied to eyes, sight, or insight suggests a loss of functional keenness
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eyes dim with tears

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{

dim eyesight

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Dusky suggests the halfway state between light and dark characteristic of twilight: like dim it implies faintness of light but unlike that word definitely connotes grayness and an approach to darkness
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dusky winter evenings

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the dusky windowless loft

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dusky clouds

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but comes at last the dull and dusky eve—Cowper

}
Obscure is more often used in its extended senses (see OBSCURE) than in its literal sense, but it is employed literally when there is a suggestion of darkening by covering, concealment, or overshadowing that deprives a thing of its lightness, brightness, or luster
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obscurest night involved the sky— Cowper

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obscure stars

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an obscure corner of the attic

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Murky originally implied and still sometimes implies intense darkness or a darkness in which things are not even faintly visible
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Hell is murky\—Shak.

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In current use, the term more often suggests a thick, heavy darkness suggestive of smoke-laden fogs or of air filled with mist and dust
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an atmosphere murky with sand— Cat her

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{

as if its [London's] low sky were the roof of a cave, and its murky day a light such as one reads of in countries beneath the earth— L. P. Smith

}
Gloomy (see also SULLEN) implies imperfect illumination owing to causes that interfere seriously with the radiation of light (as dense clouds or the heavy shade of many closely set trees): in addition, it often connotes pervading cheerlessness
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the day was especially gloomy for June

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the gloomiest part of the forest

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{

the room was gloomy and depressing with only a dim light from a small candle

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{

their gloomy pathway tended upward, so that, through a crevice, a little daylight glimmered down upon them— Hawthorne

}
Antonyms: light
Contrasted words: *bright, brilliant, radiant, luminous: illumined, illuminated, enlightened, lighted (see ILLUMI-NATE)
2 *obscure, vague, enigmatic, cryptic, ambiguous, equivocal
Analogous words: abstruse, occult, *recondite, esoteric: *mystical, mystic, anagogic, cabalistic: intricate, complicated, knotty, *complex
Antonyms: lucid
Contrasted words: *clear, perspicuous: simple, *easy, light, facile

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Dark — (d[aum]rk), a. [OE. dark, derk, deork, AS. dearc, deorc; cf. Gael. & Ir. dorch, dorcha, dark, black, dusky.] 1. Destitute, or partially destitute, of light; not receiving, reflecting, or radiating light; wholly or partially black, or of some deep …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Dark — (d[aum]rk), n. 1. Absence of light; darkness; obscurity; a place where there is little or no light. [1913 Webster] Here stood he in the dark, his sharp sword out. Shak. [1913 Webster] 2. The condition of ignorance; gloom; secrecy. [1913 Webster]… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Dark — Dark, v. t. To darken; to obscure. [Obs.] Milton. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • dark — I. adjective Etymology: Middle English derk, from Old English deorc; akin to Old High German tarchannen to hide Date: before 12th century 1. a. devoid or partially devoid of light ; not receiving, reflecting, transmitting, or radiating light < a… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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