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From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Darkness \Dark"ness\, n. 1. The absence of light; blackness; obscurity; gloom. [1913 Webster] And darkness was upon the face of the deep. --Gen. i. 2. [1913 Webster] 2. A state of privacy; secrecy. [1913 Webster] What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light. --Matt. x. 27. [1913 Webster] 3. A state of ignorance or error, especially on moral or religious subjects; hence, wickedness; impurity. [1913 Webster] Men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. --John. iii. 19. [1913 Webster] Pursue these sons of darkness: drive them out From all heaven's bounds. --Milton. [1913 Webster] 4. Want of clearness or perspicuity; obscurity; as, the darkness of a subject, or of a discussion. [1913 Webster] 5. A state of distress or trouble. [1913 Webster] A day of clouds and of thick darkness. --Joel. ii. 2. [1913 Webster] 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. [1913 Webster]