Definition of dusk in US English:



  • 1The darker stage of twilight.

    ‘dusk was falling rapidly’
    ‘working the land from dawn to dusk’
    • ‘As dusk fell, the Gandhi Park grounds were set aglow as hundreds of candles were lit to commemorate the occasion.’
    • ‘As dusk fell the quality of the music rose noticeably.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I fell in love with his home town, Aleppo, as soon as we arrived, weary in the dusk of a balmy, jasmine-scented evening.’
    • ‘Almost exactly 48 hours later, as the championship finished in the dusk on Sunday, we had the answer.’
    • ‘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 only one had taken them up on the offer - the rest opting to remain in their homes or stay with relatives.’
    • ‘As the dusk fell, heart-wrenching songs on the plight of child workers were sung.’
    • ‘Lucas sat by the fire staring into the flames as he saw the dusk of night slowly falling.’
    • ‘As he stood up against the fading light of the dusk, the hard trek was behind.’
    • ‘You will only placate them until you are finished with the days, the dawns, the dusks, the sky, the moon.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Hours passed, the dusk of curfew crept, the body remained.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘They look beautiful in the dusk as the lights inside shine through the carving.’
    • ‘When dusk fell, the serenity of the Mojave Desert swallowed the small city, reclaiming it to the still of the night.’
    • ‘The sun had set but the fields were soaked with light in the dusk.’
    • ‘As dusk fell and turned to night, an elderly cleric began to recite several verses of the Koran while the congregation repeated after him.’
    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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[no object]literary
  • Grow dark.

    ‘he saw the lights blaze in the dusking sky’
    • ‘The night of the dance dawned - or should I say dusked?’
    • ‘I watch the horizon dusking ripe and remember the darkness of that one film - the scene, that scene, when she collapses.’
    • ‘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.

    • ‘Open, solid, and hatched bars are the hours of lights on, lights off, and dusk lighting, respectively.’
    • ‘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.’


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.