Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • transitive verb To make so confused or opaque as to be difficult to perceive or understand.
  • transitive verb To render indistinct or dim; darken.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Darkened; clouded; obscured; muddled.
  • To darken; obscure; becloud; confuse; bewilder; muddle.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective obsolete Obfuscated; darkened; obscured.
  • transitive verb To darken; to obscure; to becloud.
  • transitive verb To confuse; to bewilder; to make unclear.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb To make dark; overshadow
  • verb To deliberately make more confusing in order to conceal the truth.
  • verb computing To alter code while preserving its behavior but conceal its structure and intent.

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

  • verb make obscure or unclear

Etymologies

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

[Latin obfuscāre, obfuscāt-, to darken : ob-, over; see ob– + fuscāre, to darken (from fuscus, dark).]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From the participle stem of (late) Latin obfuscare, from ob- + fuscare ("darken").

Examples

  • However, let's distract and obfuscate from the glaring flaws of the current administration and revel in the hate for an administration that is no longer in office.

    McCain: CIA secrecy story just beginning

  • And the prize for the most uses of the word obfuscate or derivatives thereof goes to…

    Charles Haynes on the Lebec, CA case - The Panda's Thumb

  • You STILL haven’t stepped up and argued the points, why you obfuscate is beyond me.

    Matthew Yglesias » Revenge of the Public Option

  • When it came to discussing facts, she seemed to obfuscate the issue (Sarah, if you're reading this, don't be embarrassed to look up "obfuscate").

    Lloyd Garver: Sarah Palin: American Idol?

  • I've just highlighted this post on Twitter and in my resource about How to write an Artist's Statement with the suggestion that it's absolutely essential reading anytime an artist feels tempted to "obfuscate"!

    Artist’s Statement Generator

  • Also, good use of the word obfuscate … and the Marxist stuff … but I know what obfuscate means … and I don’t know anything about Marx himay

    Cooperative Blog » Blog Archive » Explaining the credit crisis

  • If you want it can also "obfuscate" the variables which saves bandwith and as side effect make them harder to reuse (not something you'd want as open source developer).

    Planet Apache

  • The word "obfuscate" is a word only the very rich would use and will be taxed.

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  • Your email address will be hidden, but it is still recommended that you "obfuscate" your email address, or simply leave a homepage URL.

    How Now Brownpau

  • Your email address will be hidden, but it is still recommended that you "obfuscate" your email address, or simply leave a homepage URL.

    How Now Brownpau

Comments

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  • "Mulder, not everything is a labyrinth of dark conspiracy and not everybody is plotting to deceive, inveigle and obfuscate."

    X-files episode "Teliko"

    December 3, 2007

  • "And late at night my memory obfuscates my line of sight"

    --Girlyman, "This is Me" (2004)

    March 25, 2008

  • "They don't want you to know that, so they obfuscate the debate by fabricating a disinformation campaign."

    From a blog by Rep. Jim McDermott

    The Huffington Post article dated August 12, 2009

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rep-jim-mcdermott/he-neglected-to-tell-you_b_257472.html

    August 13, 2009

  • the thesaurus is pretty mediocre. not even illuminate for an antonym. who's in charge of it? how can we help improve it?

    November 18, 2010