Definition of dark night of the soul in English:

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dark night of the soul


Christian Theology
A period of spiritual desolation suffered by a mystic in which all sense of consolation is removed.
Example sentences
  • Yet only in the modern period has the dark night of the soul taken the form of radical doubt, doubting not only one's own state of grace, but God's promises and even God's existence.
  • The dark night of the soul, which sometimes is manifest in our concrete failures in the struggle for peace and justice, cannot, she insists, ‘be voted out of existence.’
  • Although he has not written openly about his dark night of the soul, it led to his very public break with mainstream analytic philosophy and his subsequent conversion to American pragmatism.


Mid 19th century: used to translate Spanish Noche oscura, the title of a poem by the mystic St. John of the Cross.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: dark night of the soul

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