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darkling

[dahrk-ling] /ˈdɑrk lɪŋ/
adverb
1.
in the dark.
adjective
2.
growing dark.
3.
being or occurring in the dark; dark; obscure.
4.
vaguely threatening or menacing.
Origin
late Middle English
1400-1450
1400-50; late Middle English derkeling. See dark, -ling2

darkle

[dahr-kuh l] /ˈdɑr kəl/
verb (used without object), darkled, darkling.
1.
to appear dark; show indistinctly.
2.
to grow dark, gloomy, etc.
Origin
1790-1800; back formation from darkling, adv. taken as present participle
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for darkling
  • In that darkling calm my senses seemed preternaturally sharpened.
  • Two insects in particular pose problems for poultry farmers-darkling beetles, also called lesser mealworms, and hide beetles.
  • The tenebrionid beetle known as the darkling beetle used to be of more importance to this industry.
  • Using transplants may also result in reduced need for certain pesticide applications for cutworms and darkling beetles.
British Dictionary definitions for darkling

darkling

/ˈdɑːklɪŋ/
adverb, adjective
1.
in the dark or night
adjective
2.
darkening or almost dark; obscure
Word Origin
C15: from dark + -ling²

darkle

/ˈdɑːkəl/
verb (archaic or literary)
1.
to grow dark; darken
2.
(intransitive) to appear dark or indistinct
Word Origin
C19: back formation from darkling
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for darkling

"in the dark," mid-15c., from dark (n.) + now-obsolete adverbial ending -ling.

But having nothing to do with the participial -ing it does not mean growing dark &c.; from the mistaken notion that it is a participle spring both the misuse of the word itself and the spurious verb darkle. [Fowler]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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