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Of a dark, dull, or somber color.
Dark, dull clothing.

[Latin subfuscus, brownish : sub-, sub- + fuscus, dark.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


devoid of brightness or appeal; drab, dull, or dark
(Education) (at Oxford University) formal academic dress
[C18: from Latin subfuscus dusky, from fuscus dark]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014



1. dusky.
2. dark and dull; dingy.
[1755–65; < Latin subfuscus]
sub•fus•cous, adj.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.subfusc - devoid of brightness or appeal; "a subfusc mining town"; "dark subfusc clothing"
unattractive - lacking beauty or charm; "as unattractive as most mining regions"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
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References in periodicals archive ?
In this warmth and amid all this beauty, he seemed in his subfusc gloom an anomaly.
You are the subfusc Hour of the Rat, and Myoken the pole star.
They spoke in a weird language - talking about barking heads (mad people), subfusc (gowns), debagging (removing someone's trousers), and "tactical groms" (vomiting champagne cocktails so you could keep on going).
OUSU announced that 75.8% (6,403 students) voted to keep subfusc - the dark suits, shirts, bow ties and ribbons worn under a gown - compulsory.
The original hues of the Crucifixion (1571) from S Giacomo degli Spagnoli (displayed in SS Marcellino e Festo) have been transformed into an unfortunate and unalterable subfusc. It is nevertheless a powerful image, inspired by the works of the prime mover of the 'maniera moderna', Michelangelo.
Cuyp's peasants, such as these, and his herdsmen and drovers in their bright costumes and bare legs, look more in harmony with his landscapes than his townsmen and horse-borne, dummy-like gentry with their absurd clothes and pink, prosaic Dutch faces: triangles on legs, in steeple hats, subfusc cloaks spread over bulky knee-breeches and wrinkled knitted hose.