Definition of dusky in US English:

dusky

adjective

  • 1Darkish in color.

    ‘dusky red’
    ‘a dusky complexion’
    • ‘Colour is important from dusky pastels through to the darkest hues.’
    • ‘The chipped off-white of the wall behind her stood out starkly against her unusual dusky complexion and tan-and-green attire.’
    • ‘This room is decorated in dusky pink colour with another sash window.’
    • ‘The dusky red grass grew in abundance, thicker and shorter than before.’
    • ‘The colour combination of pale bill, dusky red tail, red on face and red under wings distinguishes the parrot from lorikeets.’
    • ‘Toulouse is known as La Ville Rouge (the red city) because of the dusky red hue of most buildings in the city centre; very pretty it is too.’
    • ‘The lesions are bright to dusky red and reach up to 1.5 cm.’
    • ‘Dead muscle is dusky in colour, shows little tendency to bleed, and does not contract to forceps pressure.’
    • ‘Organic tones predominate - pond greens and dusky browns mixed with occasional violets and reds.’
    • ‘Walking slowly towards him in the dusky red twilight was the last man he really needed to see now.’
    • ‘The old cafes are still local favorites, but now it's also possible to watch a dusky red sunset filtered through a mellow golden Chardonnay at several very good restaurants.’
    • ‘Day was fast giving way to dusk as the sun quickly made its descent, leaving behind a sky full of dusky pinks and reds.’
    • ‘We are standing in a spacious kitchen painted a dusky pink colour that, were it a lipstick or nail varnish, would be called Plum Beautiful or Berry Sorbet.’
    • ‘The flowers are big, bold and abundant, and they come in several colors - pinks, purples, dusky reds, white, pale green and even some yellows.’
    • ‘Its paints are quite chalky, which gives a softness that means you could venture into greens or dusky reds without making the hallway feel dark.’
    • ‘The crunch leaves of autumn had shrivelled and the sun was a lazy, dusky peach colour.’
    • ‘It is similar to the outdoors Red Hot Poker but its colour, a dusky pink, is much less aggressive.’
    • ‘She feels that Malayalis, with their dusky complexion, stand a good chance in modelling.’
    • ‘It's all dusky reds and yellows, shag-headed battle royales, exploding tanks, and getting up the next day to relive it on the playground.’
    • ‘They were concerned about her dusky complexion and how that would affect her prospects in landing a good catch in the marriage market.’
    1. 1.1dated Used in euphemistic or poetic reference to black or other dark-skinned people.
      ‘a dusky Moorish maiden’
      • ‘As a small crowd gathered to watch the dusky maiden play a few hands of blackjack, I asked one of the crowd whether she was a film-star or a Kiwi pop musician.’
      • ‘If there's a dusky maiden to rub on the sun oil, so much the better.’
      • ‘I wandered about tripping over palm roots and bumping into dusky maidens in my fit of jet-lag and bliss, before falling asleep among the other bodies and bright cushions.’
      • ‘One of my English correspondents has recently spent a couple of months in Indonesia and mentioned with approval the dusky maidens there.’
      • ‘He was probably off to meet the dusky maiden when he returned to his chalet.’
    2. 1.2literary Dim.
      ‘dusky light came from a small window’
      • ‘When I came in the dusky light of early morning they were singing, and when I opened the door they jumped beneath the tables and onto counters, their narrow legs humming.’
      • ‘The sun dips around 1am, there's a dusky twilight and then light again at 3am.’
      • ‘It was just getting dark as we walked along the riverside to the Taj and the dusky light falling over the Ouse added to the romance of the outing.’
      • ‘The light was becoming dusky so I decided that sidelights were probably the way to go.’
      • ‘Back then, the question of water quality in the Huangpu or Suzhou Creek was not an issue and one can imagine tourists bathing in the dusky light on a summer evening before returning to the Astor for an evening meal, drinks and a dance.’
      shadowy, dark, darkish, dim, gloomy, murky, shady, cloudy, misty, hazy, foggy
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3attributive Used in names of animals with dark coloration, e.g. dusky dolphin, dusky warbler.
      • ‘To be surrounded by dozens of squawking, hissing sea birds with 10 ft wingspans was one thing, but add to that a pod of 600 acrobatic dusky dolphins and you had a wildlife spectacle to rival anything on earth.’
      • ‘An analysis of extrapair paternity in the dusky warbler, Phylloscopus fuscatus, revealed that females choose copulation partners on the basis of the quality but not of the quantity of song.’
      • ‘They go to watch sperm whales spout and dive or to swim with pods of dusky dolphins.’
      • ‘Observations have been made of groups of up to twenty dusky broadbills building a single nest.’
      • ‘An osprey flying past with a fish in its talons was another bonus while a dusky flycatcher hawked insects from various perches around the garden.’
      • ‘Researchers have identified what could be signature whistles in other dolphin species, including spotted, white-sided, and dusky dolphins.’
      • ‘And dusky sharks don't breed until they're 20 to 25 years old, after which small litters typically arrive at 3-year intervals.’
      • ‘I have a dusky conure, and she is that parakeet's twin.’

Pronunciation

dusky

/ˈdəskē//ˈdəski/