the state or quality of being dark: The room was in total darkness.
absence or deficiency of light: the darkness of night.
wickedness or evil: Satan, the prince of darkness.
obscurity; concealment: The darkness of the metaphor destroyed its effectiveness.
lack of knowledge or enlightenment: heathen darkness.
lack of sight; blindness.

before 1050; Middle English derknesse, Old English deorcnysse. See dark, -ness

predarkness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
dark (dɑːk)
1.  having little or no light: a dark street
2.  light Compare medium (of a colour) reflecting or transmitting little light: dark brown
3.  a.  (of complexion, hair colour, etc) not fair or blond; swarthy; brunette
 b.  (in combination): dark-eyed
4.  gloomy or dismal
5.  sinister; evil: a dark purpose
6.  sullen or angry: a dark scowl
7.  ignorant or unenlightened: a dark period in our history
8.  secret or mysterious: keep it dark
9.  phonetics Compare light denoting an (l) pronounced with a velar articulation giving back vowel resonance. In English, l is usually dark when final or preconsonantal
10.  informal stock exchange go dark (of a company) to remove itself from the register of major exchanges while continuing to trade
11.  absence of light; darkness
12.  night or nightfall
13.  a dark place, patch, or shadow
14.  a state of ignorance (esp in the phrase in the dark)
15.  an archaic word for darken
[Old English deorc; related to Old High German terchennen to hide]

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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Word Origin & History

O.E. deorcnysse, from dark + -ness. Figurative use is recorded from mid-14c.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Bible Dictionary

Darkness definition

The plague (the ninth) of darkness in Egypt (Ex. 10:21) is described as darkness "which may be felt." It covered "all the land of Egypt," so that "they saw not one another." It did not extend to the land of Goshen (ver. 23). When Jesus hung upon the cross (Matt. 27:45; Luke 23:44), from the "sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour." On Mount Sinai, Moses (Ex. 20:21) "drew near unto the thick darkness where God was." This was the "thick cloud upon the mount" in which Jehovah was when he spake unto Moses there. The Lord dwelt in the cloud upon the mercy-seat (1 Kings 8:12), the cloud of glory. When the psalmist (Ps. 97:2) describes the inscrutable nature of God's workings among the sons of men, he says, "Clouds and darkness are round about him." God dwells in thick darkness. Darkness (Isa. 13:9, 10; Matt. 24:29) also is a symbol of the judgments that attend on the coming of the Lord. It is a symbol of misery and adversity (Job 18:6; Ps. 107:10; Isa. 8:22; Ezek. 30:18). The "day of darkness" in Joel 2:2, caused by clouds of locusts, is a symbol of the obscurity which overhangs all divine proceedings. "Works of darkness" are impure actions (Eph. 5:11). "Outer darkness" refers to the darkness of the streets in the East, which are never lighted up by any public or private lamps after nightfall, in contrast with the blaze of cheerful light in the house. It is also a symbol of ignorance (Isa. 9:2; 60:2; Matt. 6:23) and of death (Job 10:21; 17:13).

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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Example sentences
The festival lasts five days and celebrates the victory of good over evil,
  light over darkness, and knowledge over ignorance.
They are expected to confront the darkness and show evidence that they have
  done so in their papers.
The agitated zebras gallop back and forth in short, panicky dashes, then
  skitter off into the absolute darkness.
Scientists believe the lake could be home to cold-loving microbial life adapted
  to living in total darkness.
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