What does the idiom "pitch black" mean?

The expression pitch black is one of the idioms that often finds a place in our literature and enriches our language. However, its meaning is not fully understood, so it is sometimes used in the wrong situations. Please review the explanation carefully for the correct use of the pitch black idiom.

Meaning of "pitch black"


Pitch black is an idiom used to describe a deep darkness that causes total lack of visibility. Pitch black darkness is comparable smoke so thick that nothing can be seen. This phrase is often used to emphasize the complete darkness in a certain environment.


The phrase 'pitch black' is believed to have originated from the tar-like black substance called 'pitch' which was used to waterproof boats and ships in the 15th century. This substance was so dark and thick that when it was applied to an object in the night, it would create an environment of total blackness.


The phrase 'pitch black' is most commonly used when describing a complete lack of light and visibility. This phrase can be used to describe an indoor or outdoor environment, such as a room or a forest. It is also commonly used to describe a certain feeling of despair or fear, as the darkness in this phrase is so intense and complete.

Example Sentences

  • The storm had caused the night to become pitch black and I couldn't see my hand in front of my face.
  • The basement was pitch black and I was too scared to move.
  • When I stepped out into the woods, the darkness was so intense that it was pitch black.

The meanings of the words in the "pitch black" idiom

Idioms have a common language

"The early bird catches the worm" is an English idiom that means that those who wake up early and start their day early are more likely to succeed. A similar idiom in Spanish is "El que madruga, Dios le ayuda," which translates to "God helps those who rise early." This idiom emphasizes the importance of starting the day early in order to achieve success.


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