starkness

stark

[stahrk]
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:
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.

starkly, adverb
starkness, noun


2, 3. See austere, bare.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
stark (stɑːk)
 
adj
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, poetic or rigid, as in death (esp in the phrases stiff and stark, stark dead)
6.  short for stark-naked
 
adv
7.  completely: stark mad
 
[Old English stearc stiff; related to Old Norse sterkr, Gothic gastaurknan to stiffen]
 
'starkly
 
adv
 
'starkness
 
n

Stark
 
n
1.  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.  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 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

stark
O.E. stearc "stiff, strong" (related to starian "to stare"), from P.Gmc. *starkaz (cf. O.N. sterkr, O.Fris. sterk, M.Du. starc, O.H.G. starah, Ger. stark, Goth. *starks), from PIE base *ster- "stiff, rigid" (see stare). Meaning "utter, sheer, complete" first recorded c.1400,
perhaps from infl. of common phrase stark dead (late 14c.), with stark mistaken as an intensive adj. Sense of "bare, barren" is from 1833. Stark naked (1520s) is from M.E. start naked (early 13c.), from O.E. steort "tail, rump." Hence Brit. slang starkers "naked" (1923).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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