Definition of benighted in English:

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Pronunciation: /bɪˈnʌɪtɪd/


1In a state of pitiful or contemptible intellectual or moral ignorance: they saw themselves as bringers of culture to poor benighted peoples
More example sentences
  • Indeed, there's reason to hope that even the most benighted moral equivocators may come to realize that the message is the exact opposite of the one they've been preaching.
  • The people of Florence are far from considering themselves ignorant and benighted, and yet Brother Savonarola succeeded in persuading them that he held converse with God.
  • It's a primitive, benighted method of ordering life that is based mostly on coercion and the world would be much better off if all its forms were banned forever.
primitive, uncivilized, unsophisticated, unrefined, uncouth, unpolished, uncultured, philistine, barbarian, barbaric, barbarous, savage, crude, coarse, rough, vulgar, gross
informal yobbish
literary nescient
archaic rude
2Overtaken by darkness: a storm developed and we were forced to wait benighted near the summit
More example sentences
  • A pair of climbers were benighted in a storm at the top of Royal Arches without overnight gear.
  • When Mr. Heath, the benighted and storm-delayed traveler, threw back his dripping coat, and seated himself at the invitation of his host, before the blazing fire, Mr. Abbot thought that he had seldom seen a more attractive young man.
  • The forest was also frequented by outlaws, and was a place of great danger to the benighted traveller.



Example sentences
  • Whose foolishness or benightedness is Peter referring to in this and in the following nocturnes of Dresden's historic architecture?
  • Twelve hundred people attended, including eighty-six deputies, one of whom apologized profusely for his previous benightedness and pledged his allegiance to ‘reform.’
  • This is not necessarily true for all of the players in the digital library arena, and it is not necessarily benightedness that accounts for this.


Late 16th century (in sense 2): past participle of archaic benight 'cover in the darkness of night, obscure' (see be-, night).

Words that rhyme with benighted

clearsighted, shortsighted, uninvited, unlighted, unrequited, unsighted

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: be|night¦ed

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