dark night of the soul definition, dark night of the soul meaning | English dictionary

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dark night of the soul n.
1. [Rel.] expression used to describe metaphorically a period of ignorance and spiritual crisis that precedes the communion with Divinity ; 2. in a larger meaning, it is used when refering to having a hard time, going through a phase of pessimism, sadness, failure etc.


The expression's origin is the poem with the same title written by Saint John of the Cross, while he was emprisoned in the 16th century for his initiatives of reforming the Carmelite Order.

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1    having little or no light  
a dark street     
2    (of a colour) reflecting or transmitting little light  
dark brown         Compare       light   1       29       medium       2  
a    (of complexion, hair colour, etc.) not fair or blond; swarthy; brunette  
b    (in combination)  
4    gloomy or dismal  
5    sinister; evil  
a dark purpose     
6    sullen or angry  
a dark scowl     
7    ignorant or unenlightened  
a dark period in our history     
8    secret or mysterious  
keep it dark     
9      (Phonetics)   denoting an (l) pronounced with a velar articulation giving back vowel resonance. In English, l is usually dark when final or preconsonantal.  
   Compare       light   1       30  
10    absence of light; darkness  
11    night or nightfall  
12    a dark place, patch, or shadow  
13    a state of ignorance (esp. in the phrase in the dark)  
14       an archaic word for       darken  
     (Old English deorc; related to Old High German terchennen to hide)  
  darkish      adj  
  darkly      adv  
  darkness      n  

Dark Ages  
      pl n  
the     (European history)  
1    the period from about the late 5th century a.d. to about 1000 a.d., once considered an unenlightened period  
2    (occasionally) the whole medieval period  
Dark Continent  
      n   the. a term for Africa when it was relatively unexplored  
dark current  
      n   the residual current produced by a photoelectric device when not illuminated  
dark-field illumination  
      n   illumination of the field of a microscope from the side so that the specimen is viewed against a dark background  
dark-field microscope  
      n      another name for an       ultramicroscope  
dark glasses  
      pl n   spectacles with lenses tinted to reduce transmitted light  
dark horse  
1    a competitor in a race or contest about whom little is known; an unknown  
2    a person who reveals little about himself or his activities, esp. one who has unexpected talents or abilities  
3      (U.S. politics)   a candidate who is unexpectedly nominated or elected  
dark lantern  
      n   a lantern having a sliding shutter or panel to dim or hide the light  
dark matter  
      n     (Astronomy)   matter known to make up a substantial part of the mass of the universe, but not detectable by its absorption or emission of electromagnetic radiation  
dark nebula  
      n   a type of nebula that is observed by its blocking of radiation from other sources  
   See       nebula  
dark reaction  
      n     (Botany)   the stage of photosynthesis involving the reduction of carbon dioxide and the dissociation of water, using chemical energy stored in ATP: does not require the presence of light  
   Compare       light reaction  
dark star  
      n   an invisible star known to exist only from observation of its radio, infrared, or other spectrum or of its gravitational effect, such as an invisible component of a binary or multiple star  
      adj   extremely or completely dark  
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