An evocative word: darkle

Today I highlight a wonderful word that seems custom-made for the fantasy genre.


verb tr., intr.: To make or become dark, indistinct, or gloomy; to be seen darkly.

According to A.Word.A.Day, it’s a back-formation from darkling (adv., a.: in the dark), from Middle English derkeling. Earliest documented use: 1819.

As far as I can make out, ‘darkle’ is distinct from ‘darken’ because the latter refers generally to the ambient light. ‘Darkle’, on the other hand, can refer to an actual object becoming or appearing dark as the result of the absence of light.

It’s not very easy to find examples of its usage. In fact the wordpress spell-checker doesn’t even recognise it.

Here’s the usage example given by A.Word.A.Day:
“The silhouettes of builders and road-construction equipment darkled against the sky.”
Dovletmurad Orazkuliev; New Roads in Country; Neitralnii Turkmenistan; Jul 6, 2010.

I like. I like a lot.


3 thoughts on “An evocative word: darkle

  1. Now use the word in a paragraph.
    And after that, use it in a page.
    And after that, use it in a chapter.
    And after that, use it in a novel….



  2. I had seen this word a day and loved it! And yes, predictably so, the fantasy genre has always enticed me. 🙂

    While this word may not make its debut in my writing, I’m tickled to know it exists. Glad to have googled across this post! Will have to poke around your blog a bit more.


    1. Hi Charli – It’s such an awesome word I just know I will use it at some stage. No doubt the perfect opportunity will come along. Thanks for stopping by 🙂


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