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illustration Eigengrau



Part of speech: noun

Origin: German, 20th century


The dark gray color people report seeing in the absence of light.

Examples of Eigengrau in a sentence

"Henry awoke in the eigengrau of total darkness."

"The darkness of the sub-basement seemed eigengrau to my eyes."

About Eigengrau

“Eigengrau” is a loanword from German, and translates literally to “intrinsic gray” or “own gray.”

Did you Know?

“Eigengrau” is a German word used to describe the specific color of total darkness as perceived by human eyes. Rather than black, the color that human optic nerves discern in pure darkness is a dark gray, which is why eigengrau is sometimes called “brain gray.” Eigengrau is close to what might be called “charcoal gray,” but the word’s German roots specify that this is a gray created inside the viewer’s brain. In German, “eigengrau” translates to “own gray,” or “intrinsic gray,” suggesting the shade might shift, depending on the viewer’s perception.

illustration Eigengrau

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