in the dark

dark

[dahrk]
adjective, darker, darkest.
1.
having very little or no light: a dark room.
2.
radiating, admitting, or reflecting little light: a dark color.
3.
approaching black in hue: a dark brown.
4.
not pale or fair; swarthy: a dark complexion.
5.
brunette; dark-colored: dark eyebrows.
6.
having brunette hair: She's dark but her children are blond.
7.
(of coffee) containing only a small amount of milk or cream.
8.
gloomy; cheerless; dismal: the dark days of World War II.
9.
sullen; frowning: a dark expression.
10.
evil; iniquitous; wicked: a dark plot.
11.
destitute of knowledge or culture; unenlightened.
12.
hard to understand; obscure.
13.
hidden; secret.
14.
silent; reticent.
15.
(of a theater) offering no performances; closed: The theaters in this town are dark on Sundays.
16.
Phonetics.
a.
(of an l- sound) having back-vowel resonance; situated after a vowel in the same syllable. Compare clear ( def 24a ).
b.
(of a speech sound) of dull quality; acoustically damped.
noun
17.
the absence of light; darkness: I can't see well in the dark.
18.
night; nightfall: Please come home before dark.
19.
a dark place.
20.
a dark color.
verb (used with object)
21.
to make dark; darken.
verb (used without object)
22.
Obsolete. to grow dark; darken.
Idioms
23.
in the dark,
a.
in ignorance; uninformed: He was in the dark about their plans for the evening.
b.
in secrecy; concealed; obscure.
24.
keep dark, to keep as a secret; conceal: They kept their political activities dark.

Origin:
before 1000; (adj.) Middle English derk, Old English deorc; (noun and v.) Middle English, derivative of the adj.; compare Middle High German terken to darken, hide

nondark, adjective
predark, adjective


1. Dark, dim, obscure, gloomy, murky refer to absence or insufficiency of light. Dark implies a more or less complete absence of light: a dark night. Dim implies faintness of light or indistinctness of form (resulting from the lack of light or from imperfect vision): a dim outline. Obscure implies dimness that may arise also from factors that interfere with light or vision: obscure because of haze. Gloomy means cloudy, ill-lighted, dusky: a gloomy hall. Murky implies a thick or misty darkness: murky water. 4. dusky, black. 12. recondite, abstruse.


1. lighted. 2. bright. 8. cheerful. 9. pleasant. 12. clear.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
dark (dɑːk)
 
adj
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
 
n
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)
 
vb
15.  an archaic word for darken
 
[Old English deorc; related to Old High German terchennen to hide]
 
'darkish
 
adj
 
'darkly
 
adv
 
'darkness
 
n

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
O.E. deorc, from P.Gmc. *derkaz. "Absence of light" especially at night is the original meaning. Meaning "gloomy, cheerless" was also in O.E. Application to colors is 16c. Theater slang for "closed" is from 1916; darky, for "black person" is from 1775; In the dark "ignorant" first recorded 1670s.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

in the dark

  1. In secret, in concealment, as in This agreement was concluded in the dark. [Early 1600s]

  2. In a state of ignorance, uninformed, as in I was in the dark about their plans. This metaphor often appears in the locution keep someone in the dark, meaning "deliberately keep someone uninformed," as in They kept me in the dark about their plans. [Late 1600s] For an antonym, see in the know.

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