Dark Ages

Dark Ages

noun
1.
the period in European history from about a.d. 476 to about 1000.
2.
the whole of the Middle Ages, from about a.d. 476 to the Renaissance.
3.
(often lowercase) a period or stage marked by repressiveness, a lack of enlightenment or advanced knowledge, etc.

Origin:
1720–30

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
Dark Ages
 
pl n
1.  the period from about the late 5th century ad to about 1000 ad, once considered an unenlightened period
2.  (occasionally) the whole medieval period

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

dark ages
1739, any benighted time in history, period of ignorance; specific focus on the centuries from the fall of Rome to the revival of secular literature is from 1830s.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

Dark Ages definition


A term sometimes applied to the early Middle Ages, the first few centuries after the Fall of Rome. The term suggests prevailing ignorance and barbarism, but there were forces for culture and enlightenment throughout the period.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

dark ages

the early medieval period of western European history. Specifically, the term refers to the time (476-800) when there was no Roman (or Holy Roman) emperor in the West; or, more generally, to the period between about 500 and 1000, which was marked by frequent warfare and a virtual disappearance of urban life. It is now rarely used by historians because of the value judgment it implies. Though sometimes taken to derive its meaning from the fact that little was then known about the period, the term's more usual and pejorative sense is of a period of intellectual darkness and barbarity. See Middle Ages.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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