Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

stark - definition and synonyms


What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.



The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

adjective [usually before noun] stark pronunciation in British English /stɑː(r)k/
Word Forms
  1. 1
    used for describing a building or scene that is very clear and plain to look at, often in a slightly unpleasant or frightening way
    She disliked the stark brick walls and the steel window frames.
    The hill formed a stark silhouette against the sky.
  2. 2
    used for describing an unpleasant fact or situation that is very obvious or impossible to avoid
    stark choice: The stark choice is between moving out or staying here and paying more.
    stark reality: Too many community leaders seem unable to grasp this stark reality.
    1. a.
      extreme and obvious
      There still remained one stark difference between the two men.
      in stark contrast: His words were in stark contrast to what he had said earlier.
      Synonyms and related words
      Synonyms and related words


derived words


The bare trees stood out starkly in the snow.
These figures starkly illustrate the poor performance of the British economy.
Synonyms and related words
Synonyms and related words


… a feeling of pleasure you get from spending time doing what you want and not worrying about what other people are doing or saying

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary

brain fade

a temporary inability to think clearly or remember information

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog