Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.

EXAMPLES FROM THE WEB FOR STARKNESS

It is spring, and the woods in the distance are losing their starkness.

Along that hot road the spectre of Zurich pursued me, in all its starkness.

Since I left my father's house I have felt the starkness of strangers, and now—now I can endure it no longer.

That strange feeling of starkness never belonged to a human body soft with the pulse of life.

He was very gentle with man and beast, but he dreaded the starkness of disillusion cropping through again.

WORD ORIGIN

Old English stearc "stiff, strong" (related to starian "to stare"), from Proto-Germanic *starkaz (cf. Old Norse sterkr, Old Frisian sterk, Middle Dutch starc, Old High German starah, German stark, Gothic *starks), from PIE root *ster- "stiff, rigid" (see stare).

Meaning "utter, sheer, complete" first recorded c.1400, perhaps from influence of common phrase stark dead (late 14c.), with stark mistaken as an intensive adjective. Sense of "bare, barren" is from 1833. Stark naked (1520s) is from Middle English start naked (early 13c.), from Old English steort "tail, rump." Hence British slang starkers "naked" (1923).

MORE RELATED WORDS FOR STARKNESS

Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.