Meaning of DARK in English


transcription, транскрипция: [ dɑ:(r)k ]

( darker, darkest)

Frequency: The word is one of the 1500 most common words in English.


When it is dark , there is not enough light to see properly, for example because it is night.

It was too dark inside to see much...

People usually draw the curtains once it gets dark...

She snapped off the light and made her way back through the dark kitchen.

≠ light


• dark‧ness

The light went out, and the room was plunged into darkness.


• dark‧ly

...a darkly lit, seedy dance hall.

ADV : ADV -ed


The dark is the lack of light in a place.

I’ve always been afraid of the dark.

= darkness

≠ light

N-SING : the N


If you describe something as dark , you mean that it is black in colour, or a shade that is close to black.

He wore a dark suit and carried a black attaché case...

≠ light


• dark‧ly

Joanne’s freckles stood out darkly against her pale skin...

ADV : ADV after v , ADV adj / -ed


When you use dark to describe a colour, you are referring to a shade of that colour which is close to black, or seems to have some black in it.

She was wearing a dark blue dress.

≠ light



If someone has dark hair, eyes, or skin, they have brown or black hair, eyes, or skin.

He had dark, curly hair...



If you describe a white person as dark , you mean that they have brown or black hair, and often a brownish skin.

Carol is a tall, dark, Latin type of woman...

≠ fair



A dark period of time is unpleasant or frightening.

This was the darkest period of the war.

= black

ADJ : usu ADJ n


A dark place or area is mysterious and not fully known about.

...the dark recesses of the mind.



Dark thoughts are sad, and show that you are expecting something unpleasant to happen. ( LITERARY )

Troy’s chatter kept me from thinking dark thoughts.

= gloomy

ADJ : usu ADJ n


Dark looks or remarks make you think that the person giving them wants to harm you or that something horrible is going to happen. ( LITERARY )

...dark threats.

= sinister

ADJ : usu ADJ n

• dark‧ly

‘Something’s wrong here,’ she said darkly...

ADV : ADV with v


If you describe something as dark , you mean that it is related to things that are serious or unpleasant, rather than light-hearted.

Their dark humor never failed to astound him...

ADJ : usu ADJ n

• dark‧ly

The atmosphere after Wednesday’s debut was as darkly comic as the film itself...

ADV : ADV adj


see also pitch-dark


If you do something after dark , you do it when the sun has set and night has begun.

They avoid going out alone after dark.



If you do something before dark , you do it before the sun sets and night begins.

They’ll be back well before dark.



If you are in the dark about something, you do not know anything about it.

The investigators admit that they are completely in the dark about the killing...

PHRASE : v-link PHR , PHR after v , oft PHR about n


If you describe something someone says or does as a shot in the dark or a stab in the dark , you mean they are guessing that what they say is correct or that what they do will be successful.

Every single one of those inspired guesses had been shots in the dark.

PHRASE : shot inflects

Collins COBUILD Advanced Learner's English Dictionary.      Английский словарь Коллинз COBUILD для изучающих язык на продвинутом уровне.