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[rey-lis] /ˈreɪ lɪs/
lacking rays or raylike parts.
unlit, dark, or gloomy:
a rayless cave.
Origin of rayless
1735-45; ray1 + -less
Related forms
raylessness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for rayless
Historical Examples
  • Darkness came on, deep as that in the rayless abysses of the caverns under the lava, and still the snow fell thicker.

    A Book of Ghosts Sabine Baring-Gould
  • That morning there had broken over her a storm of rayless despair.

    Arundel Edward Frederic Benson
  • Darkness hemmed him in, in rayless and triumphant obscurity.

    Under the Witches' Moon Nathan Gallizier
  • Never before had all glint of hope been lost in rayless blackness.

    Under Handicap Jackson Gregory
  • The sea was tossing; the sun rested, a red, rayless disk, on the sea-line in the west.

    Some Rambling Notes of an Idle Excursion Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
  • So thorough, that it soon ceases to be doubt, and the mind passes quickly from its dim twilight to a rayless blank.

  • So there they stood, seven sorrowful little figures engulfed in the rayless despair of childhood and the bitterness of poverty.

    Americans All Various
  • I pressed my lips to his once brilliant and now rayless eyes—I swept his hair from his brow, and kissed that too.

    Jane Eyre Charlotte Bronte
  • When the reddleman's figure could no longer be seen, Wildeve himself descended and plunged into the rayless hollow of the vale.

    Return of the Native Thomas Hardy
  • Slowly the sad procession wound back to town through the rayless hemlock woods.

British Dictionary definitions for rayless


dark; gloomy
lacking rays: a rayless flower
Derived Forms
raylessly, adverb
raylessness, noun
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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