Definition of dusk in English:


Pronunciation /dəsk/

See synonyms for dusk

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  • 1The darker stage of twilight.

    ‘dusk was falling rapidly’
    • ‘working the land from dawn to dusk’
    • ‘Summer is also wonderful because of the mid-week fell races that come with the light evenings and go in the Autumn when early dusks reappear.’
    • ‘You will only placate them until you are finished with the days, the dawns, the dusks, the sky, the moon.’
    • ‘Lucas sat by the fire staring into the flames as he saw the dusk of night slowly falling.’
    • ‘As the dusk fell, heart-wrenching songs on the plight of child workers were sung.’
    • ‘They look beautiful in the dusk as the lights inside shine through the carving.’
    • ‘In the twilight dusk, I followed him out the door and up the garden path, where he tripped over a loose rock and fell to one knee.’
    • ‘As dusk fell and turned to night, an elderly cleric began to recite several verses of the Koran while the congregation repeated after him.’
    • ‘In the half-light his mind tricks would work more effectively, since the dusk was conducive to belief more than was high noon.’
    • ‘As dusk fell the quality of the music rose noticeably.’
    • ‘As dusk fell, the Gandhi Park grounds were set aglow as hundreds of candles were lit to commemorate the occasion.’
    • ‘As dusk fell, many gathered for a service of prayer on the beach.’
    • ‘As dusk falls their hemlines get higher, their V-lines lower, more revealing, vulgar.’
    • ‘As dusk fell only one had taken them up on the offer - the rest opting to remain in their homes or stay with relatives.’
    • ‘I fell in love with his home town, Aleppo, as soon as we arrived, weary in the dusk of a balmy, jasmine-scented evening.’
    • ‘When dusk fell, the serenity of the Mojave Desert swallowed the small city, reclaiming it to the still of the night.’
    • ‘Hours passed, the dusk of curfew crept, the body remained.’
    • ‘I have no idea where we went, except to say that it was probably east, and we walked two hours to a point and two hours back to the summit and then pitched our tent in the dusk.’
    • ‘The sun had set but the fields were soaked with light in the dusk.’
    • ‘Almost exactly 48 hours later, as the championship finished in the dusk on Sunday, we had the answer.’
    • ‘As he stood up against the fading light of the dusk, the hard trek was behind.’
    twilight, nightfall, sunset, sundown, evening, close of day
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    1. 1.1literary Semidarkness.
      ‘in the dusk of an Istanbul nightclub’
      • ‘The island was enveloped in the shades of dusk and the wind from the sea was extremely cold.’
      darkness, semi-darkness, dark, gloominess, dimness, blackness, murkiness, murk, shadows, shade, shadiness, obscurity
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intransitive verb

[no object]literary
  • Grow dark.

    ‘the sky dusked and the shadows got long and hard’
    • ‘I watch the horizon dusking ripe and remember the darkness of that one film - the scene, that scene, when she collapses.’
    • ‘The night of the dance dawned - or should I say dusked?’
    • ‘She gazed into his troubled face, dark hair falling across green eyes, sunlight dusking his pale skin, like fate waking up to morning air.’


  • Shadowy, dim, or dark.

    ‘the dusk demesnes of night’
    • ‘She refused to be startled by the shifting dusk shadows.’
    • ‘They used the dusk shadows to their advantage by hiding in them.’
    • ‘From the valley comes a drumbeat of hooves as a tall horse gallops through the dusk shadows, bare but for a slim, young boy.’
    • ‘Chewing her lip thoughtfully, she wandered over to the window seat and looked out over the gardens, glowing a rich crimson in the dusk light.’
    • ‘Open, solid, and hatched bars are the hours of lights on, lights off, and dusk lighting, respectively.’


Old English dox ‘dark, swarthy’ and doxian ‘darken in color’, of Germanic origin; related to Old High German tusin ‘darkish’; compare with dun The noun dates from the early 17th century The change in form from -x to -sk occurred in Middle English.