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These adjectives indicate the absence of light or clarity. Dark, the most widely applicable, can refer to a lack or near lack of illumination (a dark night), deepness of shade or color (dark brown), somberness (a dark mood), or immorality (a dark past). Dim means having or producing little light (dim shadows; a dim light bulb) and further suggests lack of sharpness or clarity: "the terrible dim faces known in dreams" (Carson McCullers)."tales now dim and half forgotten" (Jane Stevenson).
Murky refers to a thick or clouded darkness: "Dolphins use sonar beams to navigate the murky depths of the ocean" (Tim Hilchey).
Like dim, it is also used of what is indistinct or uncertain: "Modern warfare is murky, and with no clear frontlines, the distinction between combat and support can become meaningless" (Kristin Henderson).
Dusky suggests a subdued half-light: "The dusky night rides down the sky, / And ushers in the morn" (Henry Fielding).
It can also refer to deepness or darkness of color: "A dusky blush rose to her cheek" (Edith Wharton).
Shady refers literally to what is sheltered from light, especially sunlight (a shady grove of pines) or figuratively to what is of questionable honesty (shady business deals). Shadowy also implies obstructed light (an ill-lit, shadowy street) but may refer to what is indistinct or little known: "[He] retreated from the limelight to the shadowy fringe of music history" (Charles Sherman).
It can also refer to something that seems to lack substance and is mysterious or sinister: a shadowy figure in a black cape.
2. soot or smoke. — fuliginous, adj.
- Dark and cool as a cave —David Huddle
- Dark and heavy like a surface stained with ink —John Ashbery
- (It was) dark as a closet —Niven Busch
- Dark as a dungeon —Anon
The simile is the title of a ballad from the American South.
- Dark as anger —Sylvia Plath
- Dark as a pocket —American colloquialism, attributed to Vermont
- (All was) dark as a stack of black cats —J. S. Rioss
- Dark as a thundercloud —Steven Vincent Benet
- Dark as a troll —W. D. Snodgrass
- Dark as a wolfs mouth —Miguel de Cervantes
“Dark as” and “Black as” have been used interchangeably since the simile’s appearance in Don Quixote.
- Dark as a womb —T. Coraghessan Boyle
- Dark as blackberries —Marge Piercy
- (The room was) dark as dreamless sleep —Harry Prince
- (Eyelashes … ) dark as night —Lord Byron
- Dark as sin —Mark Twain
- Dark as the devil’s mouth —Walter Scott
- Dark as the inside of a coffin —Gavin Lyall
- Dark as the inside of a magician’s hat —Robert Campbell
- Dark as the inside of a cow —Mark Twain
- Dark as the river bottom —Paige Mitchell
- Dark like wet coffee grounds —Ella Leffland
- The darkness ahead … looked like Alaska —Richard North
- Darkness as deep and cold as Siberian midnight —Gerald Kersh
- Darkness [in a rainstorm] came closer … like a sodden velvet curtain —Frank Swinnerton
- Darkness falls like a wet sponge —John Ashbery
This is the opening line of an Ashbery poem entitled The Picture of Little J.A. in a Prospect of Flowers.
- Darkness fell like a swift blow —James Crumley
- Darkness fills her like a carbohydrate —Daniela Gioseffi
- The darkness flew in like an unwelcome bird —Norman Garbo
- Darkness had begun to come in like water —Alice McDermott
- Darkness hanging over them like a blotter —T. Coraghessan Boyle
- Darkness like a black lake —Erich Maria Remarque
- Darkness … like a warm liquid poured from the throat of an enormous bird —John Hawkes
- Darkness settling down round them like a soft bird —Rose Tremain
- Darkness should be a private matter, like thought, like emotion —William Dieter
- Darkness so total it seemed … like deep water —William Boyd
- The darkness was like a rising tide that covered the gardens and the houses, erasing everything as a still sea erased footprints on a beach —John P. Marquand
- Darkness was sinking down over the region like a veil —Thomas Mann
- The darkness was thin, like some sleazy dress that has been worn and worn for many winters and always lets the cold through to the bones —Eudora Welty
- Dim as a cave of the sea —Richard Wilbur
- Dim as a cellar in midafternoon —Joyce Cary
- Dim as an ill-lit railroad coach —Natascha Wodin
- (My sun has set, I) dwell in darkness as a dead man out of sight —Christina Rossetti
- Light … drained out of the windows like a sink —William H. Gass
- So dark and murky it [a movie, The Fugitive Kind,] looked like everyone was drowning in chocolate syrup —Tennessee Williams, quoted in interview with Rex Reed
|Noun||1.||darkness - absence of light or illumination |
illumination - the degree of visibility of your environment
night - darkness; "it vanished into the night"
lightlessness, pitch blackness, total darkness, black, blackness - total absence of light; "they fumbled around in total darkness"; "in the black of night"
brownout, dimout, blackout - darkness resulting from the extinction of lights (as in a city invisible to enemy aircraft)
semidarkness - partial darkness
|2.||darkness - an unilluminated area; "he moved off into the darkness"|
scene - the place where some action occurs; "the police returned to the scene of the crime"
|3.||darkness - absence of moral or spiritual values; "the powers of darkness"|
condition, status - a state at a particular time; "a condition (or state) of disrepair"; "the current status of the arms negotiations"
foulness - disgusting wickedness and immorality; "he understood the foulness of sin"; "his display of foulness deserved severe punishment"; "mouths which speak such foulness must be cleansed"
|4.||darkness - an unenlightened state; "he was in the dark concerning their intentions"; "his lectures dispelled the darkness"|
unenlightenment - a lack of understanding
|5.||darkness - having a dark or somber color|
value - relative darkness or lightness of a color; "I establish the colors and principal values by organizing the painting into three values--dark, medium...and light"-Joe Hing Lowe
lightness - having a light color
|6.||darkness - a swarthy complexion|
in the darkness of the night → en la oscuridad or lo oscuro de la noche
the house was in darkness → la casa estaba a oscuras
darkness fell, and we returned home → cayó la noche y volvimos a casa