black as night

Idioms & Phrases

black as night

Also, black as coal or pitch. Totally black; also, very dark. For example, The well was black as night, or She had eyes that were black as coal. These similes have survived while othersblack as ink, a raven, thunder, hell, the devil, my hat, the minister's coat, the ace of spadesare seldom if ever heard today. Of the current objects of comparison, pitch may be the oldest, so used in Homer's Iliad (c. 850 b.c.), and coal is mentioned in a Saxon manuscript from a.d. 1000. John Milton used black as night in Paradise Lost (1667).

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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