Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Lacking in brightness: a dim room.
  • adj. Emitting only a small amount of light; faint: a dim lightbulb.
  • adj. Lacking luster; dull and subdued.
  • adj. Faintly outlined; indistinct: a dim figure in the distance.
  • adj. Obscure to the mind or the senses: a dim recollection of the accident.
  • adj. Lacking sharpness or clarity of understanding or perception. See Synonyms at dark.
  • adj. Lacking keenness or vigor.
  • adj. Negative, unfavorable, or disapproving: took a dim view of their prospects.
  • adj. Slang Dull; dimwitted.
  • transitive v. To make or become dim.
  • n. A parking light on a motor vehicle.
  • n. A low beam.
  • n. Archaic Dusk.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Not bright or colorful.
  • adj. Not smart or intelligent.
  • adj. Indistinct, hazy or unclear.
  • adj. Disapproving, unfavorable: rarely used outside the phrase take a dim view of.
  • v. To make something less bright.
  • v. To become darker.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Not bright or distinct; wanting luminousness or clearness; obscure in luster or sound; dusky; darkish; obscure; indistinct; overcast; tarnished.
  • adj. Of obscure vision; not seeing clearly; hence, dull of apprehension; of weak perception; obtuse.
  • transitive v. To render dim, obscure, or dark; to make less bright or distinct; to take away the luster of; to darken; to dull; to obscure; to eclipse.
  • transitive v. To deprive of distinct vision; to hinder from seeing clearly, either by dazzling or clouding the eyes; to darken the senses or understanding of.
  • intransitive v. To grow dim.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Faintly luminous; somewhat obscure from lack of light or luminosity; dark; obscure; shadowy.
  • Not clearly seen; indistinct; obscured by some intervening medium imperfectly transparent, as mist or haze; misty; hazy; hence, figuratively, not clearly apprehended; faint; vague: as, a dim prospect; a dim recollection.
  • Dull in luster; lusterless; tarnished.
  • Not seeing clearly; having the vision obscured and indistinct, as the eye.
  • Not clearly apprehending; dull of apprehension.
  • =Syn.2. Indistinct, ill-defined, indefinite, shadowy, confused, mysterious, imperfect.
  • n. The dark; darkness; night.
  • To make dim, faint, or obscure; render less bright, clear, or distinct; becloud; obscure; tarnish; sully: as, to dim the eye; to dim the vision; to dim the prospect; to dim gold.
  • To become dim, faint, or obscure; fade.
  • An abbreviation of diminuendo.
  • n. An abbreviation of diminutive
  • n. of the Latin dimidius, one half.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. become dim or lusterless
  • v. make dim or lusterless
  • adj. made dim or less bright
  • adj. lacking in light; not bright or harsh
  • v. become vague or indistinct
  • adj. lacking clarity or distinctness
  • adj. slow to learn or understand; lacking intellectual acuity
  • v. make dim by comparison or conceal
  • adj. offering little or no hope
  • v. switch (a car's headlights) from a higher to a lower beam

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old English.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Old English dimm. Compare Icelandic dimmur ("dark") and dimma ("darkness"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • I finally got over to the archives at the Lowell Cultural Center and spent a few hours sitting in dim light trying to read 100 year old scribbles.

    Archive 2009-02-01

  • Night vision declines as well; therefore, trying to read labels in dim lighting may lead to errors.

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  • Frankly, even with glasses that correct my once-perfect vision back to theoretically perfect vision, I have trouble reading fine print in dim light.

    December « 2009 « L.E. Modesitt, Jr. – The Official Website

  • Here in dim and desperate forms, under the ban of our base culture, stormed at by silly magistrates, sneered at by silly schoolmasters -- here is the old popular literature still popular; here is the unmistakable voluminousness, the thousand-and-one tales of Dick Deadshot, like the thousand-and-one tales of Robin Hood.

    Why Science Fiction Authors Can't Win

  • The raised back-lit keys of the physical QWERTY keyboard, which included three programmable shortcuts, were well spaced and easy to find in dim light.

    T-Mobile G2: A compelling though possibly unhinged Android phone

  • Those numbers are light blue colored, they are nearly invisible to me in dim light.

    How do I type the sign arobat @

  • If this be denied him, then must he have acted wholly by instinct -- which would seem more marvellous on the face of it than if, in dim ways, he had performed a vague thought-process.

    CHAPTER XXII

  • Pretty much everything suprises John McCain; McCain's light bulb, which was always pretty dim, is dimming even more rapidly.

    McCain addresses Palin, health care on Tonight Show

  • My next stop was the clothing retailer that happened to be closest to where I parked at the mall, where I bought black slacks that could sort of match the suit jacket from a distance in dim lighting, and dress shirts.

    Archive 2009-07-01

  • Everything he saw was in dim monochrome, suggesting it was either really early or he was really tired.

    365 tomorrows » 2009 » November : A New Free Flash Fiction SciFi Story Every Day

Comments

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  • Context: "it doesn't treat the reader as dim or ignorant in any way" (on The Golden Compass)

    November 21, 2007