Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Language: Old English
Origin: stearc 'stiff, strong'

stark

1 adjective
     
stark1
1 very plain in appearance, with little or no colour or decoration:
In the cold dawn light, the castle looked stark and forbidding.
the stark beauty of New Mexico
2 unpleasantly clear and impossible to avoid [= harsh]:
The movie shows the stark realities of life in the ghetto.
The extreme poverty of the local people is in stark contrast to the wealth of the tourists.
We are faced with a stark choice.
a stark reminder of life under communist rule
starkly adverb
starkness noun [uncountable]

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