From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Darkness \Dark"ness\, n.
   1. The absence of light; blackness; obscurity; gloom.
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            And darkness was upon the face of the deep. --Gen.
                                                  i. 2.
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   2. A state of privacy; secrecy.
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            What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light.
                                                  --Matt. x. 27.
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   3. A state of ignorance or error, especially on moral or
      religious subjects; hence, wickedness; impurity.
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            Men loved darkness rather than light, because their
            deeds were evil.                      --John. iii.
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            Pursue these sons of darkness: drive them out
            From all heaven's bounds.             --Milton.
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   4. Want of clearness or perspicuity; obscurity; as, the
      darkness of a subject, or of a discussion.
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   5. A state of distress or trouble.
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            A day of clouds and of thick darkness. --Joel. ii.
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   Prince of darkness, the Devil; Satan. "In the power of the
      Prince of darkness." --Locke.

   Syn: Darkness, Dimness, Obscurity, Gloom.

   Usage: Darkness arises from a total, and dimness from a
          partial, want of light. A thing is obscure when so
          overclouded or covered as not to be easily perceived.
          As tha shade or obscurity increases, it deepens into
          gloom. What is dark is hidden from view; what is
          obscure is difficult to perceive or penetrate; the eye
          becomes dim with age; an impending storm fills the
          atmosphere with gloom. When taken figuratively, these
          words have a like use; as, the darkness of ignorance;
          dimness of discernment; obscurity of reasoning; gloom
          of superstition.
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