Middle English Dictionary Entry

derk adj.
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Entry Info

Definitions (Senses and Subsenses)

(a) Of a room, the underworld, the grave, etc.: lacking illumination; dark, dusky, dismal; also fig.; (b) of the atmosphere, the weather, etc.: dark (night); lowering, threatening (clouds, weather); also fig.; (c) of a luminous body: dim, obscured; fig. obscure, inconspicuous; (d) of various things: lacking brightness; dark, dull, murky.
(a) Of color: not bright, dull, dark; ~ red [cp. OE deorce-grǣg, dyrce-]; (b) of the skin or the complexion: pallid, wan.
(a) Obscure or unclear (vision, understanding), unaware, unperceptive, ignorant (person); (b) morally impure, unclean, evil, wicked; (c) unenlightened; ~ wei.
(a) Obscure, unclear (statement, word); (b) hard to understand, mysterious; figurative (language).
Intentionally obscure, deceptive, malicious.
(a) Gloomy, despondent, dismal; (b) astron. inauspicious (position in the zodiac); (c) physiol. injurious.

Supplemental Materials (draft)

  • (a1382) WBible(1) (Bod 959)Job 13.17 : Hereþ my woord & þe derke speches [L ænigmata] parceyueþ with ʒoure eris
  • Note: Antedates sense 4.(b).--per MJW

Supplemental Materials (draft)

  • a1500 Pmb-O.21 Artist.Recipes (Pmb-O 21) 273/4 : To make a dere red colowr. Take brasil and stamp it smale, and temper it with good lye, [etc.].
  • Note: Glossary" "dere adj. 'dear, valuable (?err. for derk)'."
    Note: ?This word. ?New spelling (?error). Postdates sense 2.(a).