What Does Black as Night Mean?

Black as Night Meaning

Definition: So dark that it is difficult to see.

In the middle of the night, it can become so dark that it is impossible to see what is in front of you. Therefore, when something is black as night, that thing is so dark that it would be challenging to see if surrounded by it.

One may describe a setting as being black as night if he or she is having difficulty viewing his or her surroundings. Sometimes, people may also describe an item as being black as night to show how dark that thing is. It is another way of describing it as shadowy or black.

Origin of Black as Night

black of the nightThis is one of many phrases used to describe blackness or darkness with a simile. It is related to phrases like black as coal, black as pitch (tar), and pitch-black. All of these phrases are commonly used today, as is black as night. They are all synonymous.

It seems that all of these comparisons used to describe darkness can be traced back to Homer’s Iliad. Therefore, they have been used since at least 850 B.C., and possibly even earlier. This story used the phrase black as pitch.

John Milton’s Paradise Lost, which was written in 1667, was the first book to contain the written phrase black as night.

Examples of Black as Night

she was black as the night When camping, people may be nervous to put out the campfire because the woods around them will be black as night without it. It may also be black as night inside if a power outage occurs.

The phrase can also be a descriptor of an item’s color. For example, someone may wear a nail polish that is so dark that it looks as black as night. An athlete may be sweaty if he or she wears a shirt that is black as night.

More Examples

  • Bushfire survivor remembers a “sky as black as night” –ABC
  • The resulting beer — black as night, with a tan head — is thick, cozy and well balanced, with flavors as rich as Christmas dinner… –Washington Post

Summary

To be black as night is to be very dark.

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