The word "dark" is the opposite of the word "light." When something is dark, there isn’t very much light, or there’s no light at all:

  • At what time does it begin to get dark where you live? (When does the sun go down?)
  • In Minnesota it gets dark late in the summer and early in the winter.
  • It’s dark at night when the lights are off.
  • Some people are afraid of the dark. (Notice that "dark" is a noun in this sentence: the dark.)
  • Cats are able to see in the dark.
  • Are you bothered by the darkness? (The word "darkness" is a noun.)


You can also use "dark" when a color isn’t bright:

  • Brown is a dark color.
  • Dark brown is darker than regular brown.
  • My friend, Gail, wears a lot of dark colors. She likes to wear black, brown, dark blue, and dark green.
  • Bill’s skin gets dark in the summer because he spends a lot of time outside.

The word "dark" is also used to describe the quality of a situation. If something is dark, it might be dangerous, scary, or disturbing,

  • The United States went through some dark days following 9/11.
  • The movie we saw last night was funny, but it was a little dark. (dark comedy = psychologically complex, satirical, or explicit)
  • Marlon Brando plays a very dark character in Apocalypse Now.
  • The Dark Ages in Europe was a period of plague and political instability.

To darken something is to make it dark. The word "darken" is a verb:

simplepastpast participle
  • The sky darkened before the storm.
  • Susan darkens her hair to a brown color to cover up the gray hair.
  • Our boss’s mood darkenend when he saw how much money our company lost last quarter.

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August 4, 2015