from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- adj. Deficient in light; dark.
- adj. So faintly perceptible as to lack clear delineation; indistinct. See Synonyms at dark.
- adj. Indistinctly heard; faint.
- adj. Linguistics Having the reduced, neutral sound represented by schwa (ə).
- adj. Far from centers of human population: an obscure village.
- adj. Out of sight; hidden: an obscure retreat.
- adj. Not readily noticed or seen; inconspicuous: an obscure flaw.
- adj. Of undistinguished or humble station or reputation: an obscure poet; an obscure family.
- adj. Not clearly understood or expressed; ambiguous or vague: "an impulse to go off and fight certain obscure battles of his own spirit” ( Anatole Broyard). See Synonyms at ambiguous.
- transitive v. To make dim or indistinct: Smog obscured our view. See Synonyms at block.
- transitive v. To conceal in obscurity; hide: "Unlike the origins of most nations, America's origins are not obscured in the mists of time” ( National Review).
- transitive v. Linguistics To reduce (a vowel) to the neutral sound represented by schwa (ə).
- n. Something obscure or unknown.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- adj. Dark, faint or indistinct.
- adj. Hidden, out of sight or inconspicuous.
- adj. Difficult to understand.
- v. To darken, make faint etc.
- v. To hide, put out of sight etc.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- adj. Covered over, shaded, or darkened; destitute of light; imperfectly illuminated; dusky; dim.
- adj. Of or pertaining to darkness or night; inconspicuous to the sight; indistinctly seen; hidden; retired; remote from observation; unnoticed.
- adj. Not noticeable; humble; mean.
- adj. Not easily understood; not clear or legible; abstruse or incomprehensible.
- adj. Not clear, full, or distinct; clouded; imperfect.
- transitive v. To render obscure; to darken; to make dim; to keep in the dark; to hide; to make less visible, intelligible, legible, glorious, beautiful, or illustrious.
- intransitive v. To conceal one's self; to hide; to keep dark.
- n. Obscurity.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Dark; deprived of light; hence, murky; gloomy; dismal.
- Living in darkness; pertaining to darkness or night.
- Not capable of being clearly seen, on account of deficient illumination.
- Hence In logic, not clear, as an idea; not sharply distinguished from others.
- Not perspicuous, as a writing or speech; not readily understood, on account of faultiness of expression.
- Hidden; retired; remote from observation: as, an obscure village.
- Unknown to fame; unnoticed; hence, humble; lowly: as, an obscure curate.
- In entomology: Not distinct: as, obscure punctures.
- Not clear; dull or semi-opaque: as, obscure green or red.
- Synonyms Dark, dim, darksome, dusky, rayless, murky.
- 4 and Obscure, Doubtful, Dubious, Ambiguous, Equivocal; difficult, intricate, vague, mysterious, enigmatical. In regard to the meaning of something said or written, obscure is general, being founded upon the figure of light which is insufficient to enable one to see with any clearness; this figure is still felt in all the uses of the word. Doubtful is literal, meaning full of doubt, quite impossible of decision or determination, on account of insufficient knowledge. Dubious may be the same as doubtful, but tends to the special meaning of that doubtfulness which involves anxiety or suspicion: as, dubious battle; dubious prospects; a dubious character. Ambiguous applies to the use of words, intentionally or otherwise, in a way that makes certainty of interpretation impossible; but it may be used in other connections: as, an ambiguous smile. Equivocal applies to that which is ambiguous by deliberate intention. See darkness.
- Unhonored, inglorious.
- n. Obscurity.
- To cover and shut off from view; conceal; hide.
- To darken or make dark; dim.
- To deprive of luster or glory; outshine; eclipse; depreciate; disparage; belittle.
- To render doubtful or unintelligible; render indistinct or difficult of comprehension or explanation; disguise.
- To hide; conceal one's self.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- v. make obscure or unclear
- adj. remote and separate physically or socially
- v. make less visible or unclear
- adj. not drawing attention
- v. make unclear, indistinct, or blurred
- v. reduce a vowel to a neutral one, such as a schwa
- adj. difficult to find
- v. make undecipherable or imperceptible by obscuring or concealing
- adj. not famous or acclaimed
- adj. marked by difficulty of style or expression
- adj. not clearly understood or expressed
Middle English, from Old French obscur, from Latin obscūrus; see (s)keu- in Indo-European roots.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French obscur, from Latin obscūrus ("dark, dusky, indistinct"), possibly, from ob ("over") + -scurus ("covered"), from root scu ("cover"), seen also in scutum ("a shield"); see scutum, sky. (Wiktionary)