stark (adj.)

Old English stearc "stiff, strong, rigid, obstinate; stern, severe, hard; harsh, rough, violent," from Proto-Germanic *starka- (source also of Old Norse sterkr, Danish, Old Frisian sterk, Middle Dutch starc, Old High German starah, German stark, Gothic *starks), from PIE root *ster- (1) "stiff." From the same root as stern (adj.).

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. As an adverb from c. 1200. Related: Starkly; starkness. Stark-raving (adj.) is from 1640s; earlier stark-staring 1530s.

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Definitions of stark
stark (adj.)
without qualification; used informally as (often pejorative) intensifiers;
stark staring mad
Synonyms: arrant / complete / consummate / double-dyed / everlasting / gross / perfect / pure / sodding / staring / thorough / thoroughgoing / utter / unadulterated
stark (adj.)
devoid of any qualifications or disguise or adornment;
facing the stark reality of the deadline
Synonyms: blunt / crude
stark (adj.)
severely simple;
a stark interior
Synonyms: austere / severe / stern
stark (adj.)
complete or extreme;
a stark contrast
stark poverty
stark (adj.)
providing no shelter or sustenance;
a stark landscape
Synonyms: bare / barren / bleak / desolate
stark (adv.)
mouth stark open
stark mad