Language: Old English
Origin: deorc


1 adjective
dark1 S2 W1 comparative darker, superlative darkest

no light

if it is dark, there is little or no light [≠ light]:
The church was dark and quiet.
the dark winter days
Suddenly, the room went dark (=became dark).
It gets dark (=night begins) about ten o'clock.
It was still dark (=was night) when we boarded the train.
It was pitch dark (=completely dark) in the attic.


quite close to black in colour [≠ light, pale]:
There were dark clouds in the sky.
men in dark suits
a slightly darker colour
dark blue/green/pink etc
a dark blue dress


HBH someone who is dark has hair, eyes, or skin that is brown or black in colour [≠ fair]:
a tall, dark man
John's dark skin and eyes


mysterious or secret:
a dark secret
keep something dark British English (=keep something secret)
Apparently, he has a son, but he's kept that very dark.


evil or threatening:
There was a darker side to his character.
a place where so many dark deeds had been committed
the dark forces of the universe

unhappy time

a dark time is unhappy or without hope:
the dark days of the war
Even in the darkest moments, I still had you, my love.


if you have dark feelings or thoughts, you are very sad or worried:
a dark depression
her darkest fears


dark humour deals with things that are bad or upsetting in a funny way [= black]:
the dark humor common in difficult situations

darkest Africa/South America etc

old-fashioned the parts of Africa etc about which we know very little
WORD FOCUS: colour WORD FOCUS: colour
a particular kind of colour: shade, hint, hue

words for describing dark colours: dark, deep, rich

words for describing light colours: light, pale, soft, pastel

words for describing bright colours: bright, brilliant, vivid, garish disapproving, gaudy disapproving

having a lot of colours: colourful, multicoloured British English/multicolored American English

See also

Dictionary results for "dark"
Dictionary pictures of the day
Do you know what each of these is called?
What is the word for picture 1? What is the word for picture 2? What is the word for picture 3? What is the word for picture 4?
Click on any of the pictures above to find out what it is called.