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stark

[stahrk] /stɑrk/
adjective, starker, starkest.
1.
sheer, utter, downright, or complete:
stark madness.
2.
harsh, grim, or desolate, as a view, place, etc.:
a stark landscape.
3.
extremely simple or severe:
a stark interior.
4.
bluntly or sternly plain; not softened or glamorized:
the stark reality of the schedule's deadline.
5.
stiff or rigid in substance, muscles, etc.
6.
rigid in death.
7.
Archaic. strong; powerful; massive or robust.
adverb
8.
utterly, absolutely, or quite:
stark mad.
9.
Chiefly Scot. and North England. in a stark manner; stoutly or vigorously.
Origin
900
before 900; (adj.) Middle English; Old English stearc stiff, firm; cognate with German stark strong; akin to Old Norse sterkr strong; akin to starch, stare; (adv.) Middle English sterke, derivative of the adj.
Related forms
starkly, adverb
starkness, noun
Synonyms
2, 3. See austere, bare.

Stark

[stahrk; for 2 also German shtahrk] /stɑrk; for 2 also German ʃtɑrk/
noun
1.
Harold Raynsford
[reynz-ferd] /ˈreɪnz fərd/ (Show IPA),
1880–1972, U.S. admiral.
2.
Johannes
[yoh-hah-nuh s] /yoʊˈhɑ nəs/ (Show IPA),
1874–1957, German physicist: Nobel prize 1919.
3.
John, 1728–1822, American Revolutionary War general.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for stark
  • Several of the main point of view characters of the series are members of house stark.
  • She has strong stark family features, with a long face and brown hair.
  • He has a long face, grey eyes and lean build, with strong stark coloring.
  • The stark nighttime scenery immediately establishes a noir atmosphere.
British Dictionary definitions for stark

stark

/stɑːk/
adjective
1.
(usually prenominal) devoid of any elaboration; blunt: the stark facts
2.
grim; desolate: a stark landscape
3.
(usually prenominal) utter; absolute: stark folly
4.
(archaic) severe; violent
5.
(archaic or poetic) rigid, as in death (esp in the phrases stiff and stark, stark dead)
6.
short for stark-naked
adverb
7.
completely: stark mad
Derived Forms
starkly, adverb
starkness, noun
Word Origin
Old English stearc stiff; related to Old Norse sterkr, Gothic gastaurknan to stiffen

Stark

noun
1.
(stɑːk). Dame Freya (Madeline) (ˈfreɪə). 1893–1993, British traveller and writer, whose many books include The Southern Gates of Arabia (1936), Beyond Euphrates (1951), and The Journey's Echo (1963)
2.
(German) (ʃtark). Johannes (joˈhanəs). 1874–1957, German physicist, who discovered the splitting of the lines of a spectrum when the source of light is subjected to a strong electrostatic field (Stark effect, 1913): Nobel prize for physics 1919
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 stark
adj.

Old English stearc "stiff, strong" (related to starian "to stare"), from Proto-Germanic *starkaz (cf. Old Norse sterkr, Old Frisian sterk, Middle Dutch starc, Old High German starah, German stark, Gothic *starks), from PIE root *ster- "stiff, rigid" (see stare).

Meaning "utter, sheer, complete" first recorded c.1400, perhaps from influence of common phrase stark dead (late 14c.), with stark mistaken as an intensive adjective. Sense of "bare, barren" is from 1833. Stark naked (1520s) is from Middle English start naked (early 13c.), from Old English steort "tail, rump." Hence British slang starkers "naked" (1923).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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