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Anglo-Norman tenebrous (earlier tenebrus) from Latin tenebrōsus, itself from tenebrae (darkness, shadows).


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈtɛ.nɪ.bɹəs/, /ˈtɛ.nə.bɹəs/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈtɛ.nə.bɹəs/


tenebrous (comparative more tenebrous, superlative most tenebrous)

  1. dark and gloomy
    • 1847, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, "Evangeline"
      Over their heads the towering and tenebrous boughs of the cypress
      Met in a dusky arch, []
    • 1992, Elizabeth Jane Bellamy, "Troia Vittrice: Reviving Troy in the Woods of Jerusalem", Translations of Power: Narcissism and the Unconscious in Epic History, page 174
      [] and it is inevitable that her murdered spirit become a denizen of Jerusalem's tenebrous woods.
    • 1993, Georges Duby, Natalie Zemon Davis, Michelle Perrot, A History of Women in the West: Renaissance and Enlightenment Paradoxes, page 62, 1991, Storia delle donne in Occidente, Volume III: Dal Rinascimento all'etá moderna,
      White was more delicate, more feminine, more beautiful. Dark was more robust, more masculine, more tenebrous.
    • 2008, Edited by Brian W. Shaffer and Cynthia F. Wong, Conversations with Kazuo Ishiguro, University Press of Mississippi, page xi,
      Although Ishiguro's novels are arguably more overtly concerned with emotional and psychological matters than with historical ones, it is certainly no accident that he sets all of his novels, as Margaret Atwood maintains, "against tenebrous historical backdrops."

Related termsEdit


Old FrenchEdit


tenebrous m (oblique and nominative feminine singular tenebrouse)

  1. (Anglo-Norman) Alternative form of tenebrus