from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To obscure, to shadow.
  • v. To make cloudy.
  • adj. obscured
  • adj. cloudy

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To cloud; to obscure.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To cloud or overcloud; obscure; darken.

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

  • v. make unclear, indistinct, or blurred
  • v. make less visible or unclear


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • I get this "A Word A Day" email, and the one this morning was "obnubilate," which means to darken over or cloud.

    Archive 2010-02-01

  • As every work of man's or of nature's hand universally contains within itself the elements of its own destruction (or if that term be not agreeable to the Philosopher, of its own dissolution), so every mind contains that which on some one point is certain to thwart and obnubilate the healthy exercise of that reason for which it may have been celebrated, when directed to all things else.

    North Carolina University Magazine, Volume 1 Number 1, February 1852

  • In some unlucky dispositions there is such an envious kind of pride that they cannot endure that any but themselves should be set forth for excellent; so that when they hear one justly praised they will either seek to dismount his virtues, or, if they be like a clear light, they will stab him with a _but_ of detraction; as if there were something yet so foul as did obnubilate even his brightest glory.

    Pearls of Thought

  • “I intend to put in my album such collector’s items as patulous (spreading, open, gaping) and obnubilate (cloud over, darken, obscure),” my brother Kilpo writes.

    No Uncertain Terms

  • Apparently the press secretary is a reader of Ehrlich’s elitist dictionary, or is a fan of Kilpatrick’s delicious column, or—most fittingly for one working in his beclouded state—has been perusing Robert Burton’s 1621 Anatomy of Melancholy: “So doth this melancholy vapour obnubilate the mind.”

    No Uncertain Terms


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  • When Ernest and friends fully lubricate

    Oh, how those staid scholars pursue debate!

    A great deal is said

    Though scant light is shed.

    They digress and hap’ly obnubilate.

    Find out more about Ernest Bafflewit

    December 5, 2017

  • Used in a book review in The Princeton Review of a book by Samuel Taylor Coleridge:

    There is here fine criticism, classic wit, poetic dreaming, and some grains of sound doctrine, but so obnubilated with the fumes of German metaphysics, that we become giddy.

    September 8, 2016

  • I note that the statement, "Sorry, no etymologies found.", appears on the page for obnubilate. Please look here for an etymology for the word:

    July 20, 2014

  • Used by Patrick O'Brian in "The Mauritius Command" as follows...

    McAdam instantly collected his faculties and replied 'It is the pity of the world, Dr. Maturin, to see a man of your parts obnubilate his mind with the juice of the poppy.'

    In his journal that night Stephen wrote '...and his blotched face clearing on a sudden, he checked me with my laudanum. I am amazed at his perspicacity. Yet do I indeed obnubilate my mind? Surely not: looking back in this very book, I detect no diminution of activity, mental or physical.'

    April 11, 2009