We present description logics of minimal knowledge and negation as failure (MKNF-DLs), which augment description logics with modal operators interpreted according to Lifschitz's nonmonotonic logic MKNF. We show the usefulness of MKNF-DLs for a formal characterization of a wide variety of nonmonotonic features that are both commonly available inframe-based systems, and needed in the development of practical knowledge-based applications: defaults, integrity constraints, role, and concept closure. In addition, we provide a correct and terminating calculus for query answering in a very expressive MKNF-DL.