Dusk Meaning: Here’s What It Means and How to Use It

You may know dusk is the opposite of dawn, but what does it mean? This guide will provide you with the meaning of dusk, usage examples, and more.

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Do you prefer the rosy hue of a golden sunrise after dawn or the star-peppered sky on an onyx backdrop for the moon at dusk? What does dusk mean, and how is it different from dawn? 

If you’re looking for information on the word dusk, you’re in the right place. Read on to discover the definition of dusk, usage examples, and more.  

What Is the Definition of Dusk?

Collins English Dictionary defines dusk as the period of partial darkness between night and day. Shade, gloom, and partial darkness are dictionary definitions of our word of the day — dusk.

More often than not, you will see synonyms for dusk used in poetry. For example, words like crepuscule, gloaming, and evenfall are more aptly suited for poetry than everyday conversation.

Don’t let that stop you from stepping out of the box and trying to pepper these words in your vocabulary!

Dusk is used in poetry as: 

  • An adjective meaning shady or gloomy
  • A verb meaning to become dark or to make dark 
  • As a noun referring to the darker part of twilight or simply just twilight 

What Is the Word Origin for Dusk?

Compared to most words in the English Language, the etymology for dusk is a bit of a mess. From its uncertain origin to the simple fact that our word of the day can be used as an adjective, noun, or verb, there is a bit to cover. 

To help navigate this bumpy origin story, we have compiled a list below:

  • Derivative of Middle English dosk
  • Related to multiple words; Old Saxon dosan (brown), Norwegian dusmen (misty), Old High German tusin (yellow)
  • An alteration of Old English dox and Old English doxian
  • Akin to the Latin fuscus dark brown and Old English dunn 

What Are the Synonyms Dusk?

There are many words, phrases, and expressions that you can use instead of dusk. These words are known as synonyms. 

Synonyms of dusk are as follows:

  • Gloaming
  • Gloam
  • Late afternoon
  • Eventide 
  • Hours of darkness
  • Sundown 
  • Nightfall
  • Gathering darkness
  • Twilight
  • Blackout
  • Unilluminated 
  • Early black
  • Evenfall 
  • Shades of evening
  • Nighttime
  • Crepuscule
  • Murkiness
  • Make black
  • Dimness
  • Grow black
  • Darkness 

What Are the Antonyms of Dusk?

Words or phrases with the opposite meaning of another term are known as antonyms. 

Antonyms of dusk include:

  • Dawn
  • First light
  • Sunup
  • Sunlight hours
  • Crystal clear
  • Ablaze
  • Spick and span
  • Sun’s rays
  • Predawn
  • Hours of sunlight
  • Sun
  • Well-lit 
  • Lit up
  • Break of dawn
  • Aurora
  • Early bright
  • Broad day
  • Cockcrow
  • First blush
  • Morning
  • Crack of dawn
  • Wee hours
  • Sunrise
  • Light up
  • Hours of daylight

How Can You Use Dusk in a Sentence?

You know that dusk occurs at the darkest stage of twilight — or the end of astronomical twilight right after sunset and before nightfall. However, there are three stages of dusk: civil dusk, nautical dusk, and astronomical dusk. 

To help you further cement this definition, we suggest quizzing yourself to see how many sentences you can come up with using the term dusk. Need some help? Not to worry — here are a few sentence examples listed below:   

It was long after dusk when we arrived back at camp.

Utilizing the dusk of the room and her tiny frame, Sarah hid from the others in plain sight. 

After the sunset, dusk finally settled over the ocean, and the world became calm.

There are always more fish at dusk so prepare to pull an all-nighter fishing with me tonight!

Many people believe that the witching hour — or devil’s hour — is at dusk. It’s a time when magic takes place.

If you ask me, there’s just about nothing more romantic than star gazing on a cozy blanket with the person you love at dusk.

All the kids steer clear of the graveyard — especially at dusk when ghosts, vampires, and witches become active.

What Are Translations of Dusk?

Despite having an unknown origin, there are many translations of the term dusk:

  • Turkish — alacakaranlık 
  • Ukrainian — сутінки
  • Vietnamese — hoàng hôn
  • American English — dusk 
  • Arabic — غَسَق 
  • Croatian — sumrak 
  • German — Abenddämmerung 
  • Greek — σούρουπο 
  • Italian — crepuscolo
  • Czech — soumrak
  • European Spanish — anochecer 
  • Finnish — iltahämärä 
  • Japanese — 夕暮れ 
  • Korean — 해질녘 
  • Polish — zmierzch 
  • European Portuguese — anoitecer 
  • Romanian — amurg
  • Russian — сумерки
  • Norwegian — skumring
  • French — crépuscule
  • Spanish — anochecer 
  • Swedish — skymning 
  • Thai — เวลาโพล้เพล้
  • Danish — tusmørke 
  • Dutch — schemering
  • Brazilian Portuguese — anoitecer 
  • Chinese — 黄昏


The easiest way we can put it is that the time between nightfall and sunset — that’s dusk.

Interested in discovering more interesting words? Head on over to our website where you’ll find a number of informative blogs that will strengthen your knowledge of the English language. 

We’re constantly posting new articles about complicated words, phrases, and language ideas to keep you in the know. Whether you’re hoping to expand your spoken vocabulary or learn the difference between two homonyms, you can always count on The Word Counter to help. 


  1. Dusk antonyms – 294 Opposites of Dusk | Power Thesaurus 
  2. Dusk: definition | The Cambridge Unabridged English Dictionary 
  3. Dusk definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary