Gaunt vs Stark - What's the difference?

gaunt | stark |

As an adjective gaunt

is lean, angular and bony.

As a proper noun stark is




Alternative forms

* (l) * (l) (Scotland)


  • lean, angular and bony
  • * {{quote-book
  • , year=1894 , author=Joseph Jacobs , title=The Fables of Aesop , chapter=1 citation , passage=A gaunt Wolf was almost dead with hunger when he happened to meet a House-dog who was passing by.}}
  • haggard, drawn and emaciated
  • * {{quote-book
  • , year=1917 , author=Arthur Conan Doyle , title=His Last Bow , chapter=5 citation , passage=In the dim light of a foggy November day the sick room was a gloomy spot, but it was that gaunt , wasted face staring at me from the bed which sent a chill to my heart.}}
  • bleak, barren and desolate
  • * {{quote-book
  • , year=1908 , author=William Hope Hodgson , title=The House on the Borderland , chapter=14 citation , passage=Behind me, rose up, to an extraordinary height, gaunt , black cliffs. }}


    * scraggy, scrawny, skinny



    Etymology 1

    From (etyl) stark, starc, from (etyl) stearc, . Related to (l). Modifying naked , an alternation of original .


  • (obsolete) Hard, firm; obdurate.
  • Severe; violent; fierce (now usually in describing the weather).
  • * {{quote-magazine, title=The climate of Tibet: Pole-land
  • , date=2013-05-11, volume=407, issue=8835, page=80 , magazine=(The Economist) citation , passage=Of all the transitions brought about on the Earth’s surface by temperature change, the melting of ice into water is the starkest . It is binary. And for the land beneath, the air above and the life around, it changes everything.}}
  • (rare) Strong; vigorous; powerful.
  • * Sir Walter Scott
  • a stark , moss-trooping Scot
  • * Beaumont and Fletcher
  • Stark beer, boy, stout and strong beer.
  • Stiff, rigid.
  • * Spenser
  • Whose senses all were straight benumbed and stark .
  • * Shakespeare
  • Many a nobleman lies stark and stiff / Under the hoofs of vaunting enemies.
  • * Ben Jonson
  • The north is not so stark and cold.
  • Hard in appearance; barren, desolate.
  • I picked my way forlornly through the stark , sharp rocks.
  • Complete, absolute, full.
  • I screamed in stark terror.
    A flower was growing, in stark contrast, out of the sidewalk.
  • * Ben Jonson
  • Consider the stark security / The common wealth is in now.
  • * Collier
  • He pronounces the citation stark nonsense.
  • * Selden
  • Rhetoric is very good or stark naught; there's no medium in rhetoric.
    Derived terms
    * (l)


  • starkly; entirely, absolutely
  • He's gone stark , staring mad.
    She was just standing there, stark naked.
  • * Fuller
  • held him strangled in his arms till he was stark dead.
  • * {{quote-book, year=1913, author=
  • , title=Lord Stranleigh Abroad , chapter=4 citation , passage=“… That woman is stark mad, Lord Stranleigh. Her own father recognised it when he bereft her of all power in the great business he founded. …”}}
    Usage notes
    In standard modern English, the adverb is essentially restricted to stark naked'' and phrases meaning "crazy" on the pattern of ''stark raving mad .

    Etymology 2

    From (etyl) starken, from (etyl) .


    (en verb)
  • (obsolete, or, dialect) To stiffen.
  • Anagrams

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