Definition of stark in English:


Line breaks: stark
Pronunciation: /stɑːk


  • 3 archaic or • literary Stiff, rigid, or incapable of movement: a human body lying stiff and stark by the stream
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    • It mixed stylised, stark movement, rhythmic ensemble sequences and wonderful characterisation.
    • A number of babies - I should say about thirty - were laid out there stiff and stark.
  • 3.1Physically strong or powerful: the dragoons were stark fellows
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    • I had never heard a voice like his, or lyrics so stark and powerful.
    • The similarities between the two men are stark - the same strong jaw, angular features and receding hairline.
    • Powerful and stark, Scottsboro reminds us of the continuing impact and importance of our country's tradition of dissent.


stark naked

Completely naked.
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  • It's funny how in periods of extreme stress most people seem to have one particular recurring theme in their dreams, it may be dreams about falling, about losing someone they love, or walking down the high street stark naked.
  • Muriel - ‘tiny and dark’ and stark naked - agreed.
  • Only a few weeks ago a London jury acquitted a man on a charge of outraging public decency even though he cheerfully admitted that he walked around stark naked, and appeared thus in court.

stark raving (or staring) mad

informal Completely crazy: for heaven’s sake Bruce, have you gone stark raving mad?
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  • If you lived next to some of these sites you would go stark staring mad.
  • The world of advertising has gone stark staring mad.
  • Meanwhile, Lawrence O'Donnell - in the true spirit of Kerry supporters everywhere - has gone stark raving mad.



[as submodifier]: the reality is starkly different
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  • What emerged most strongly was how starkly different the candidates are.
  • Mr Rayne-Davis is careful to bring home the starkly different society of 16th century England.
  • I particularly liked the newer cases because they were so starkly different from the first one.


More example sentences
  • The political arena often produces heated exchanges and the starkness of the voting system produces winners and losers.
  • The starkness of the moral choice is utterly compelling: do you both die or do you, in effect, kill your companion?
  • For instance, if your suite and other furnishings conspire to create a more comfortable and traditional look, the starkness of the new window treatment will dominate the look and it will appear unfinished by comparison.


Old English stearc 'unyielding, severe', of Germanic origin; related to Dutch sterk and German stark 'strong'.

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