Definition of Obscure

1. Verb. Make less visible or unclear. "The big elm tree obscures our view of the valley"

Exact synonyms: Becloud, Befog, Cloud, Fog, Haze Over, Mist, Obnubilate
Generic synonyms: Conceal, Hide
Specialized synonyms: Overshadow
Derivative terms: Fog, Fog

2. Adjective. Not clearly understood or expressed. "Vague...forms of speech...have so long passed for mysteries of science"
Exact synonyms: Vague
Similar to: Unclear
Derivative terms: Obscureness, Obscurity, Vagueness

3. Verb. Make unclear, indistinct, or blurred. "Their words obnubilate their intentions"
Exact synonyms: Blur, Confuse, Obnubilate
Generic synonyms: Alter, Change, Modify
Related verbs: Confound, Confuse
Specialized synonyms: Muddy

4. Adjective. Marked by difficulty of style or expression. "Those who do not appreciate Kafka's work say his style is obscure"
Exact synonyms: Dark
Similar to: Incomprehensible, Uncomprehensible
Derivative terms: Darkness, Obscureness, Obscurity

5. Verb. Make obscure or unclear. "The distinction was obscured"
Exact synonyms: Bedim, Overcloud
Generic synonyms: Alter, Change, Modify

6. Adjective. Difficult to find. "An obscure retreat"
Exact synonyms: Hidden
Similar to: Concealed

7. Verb. Reduce a vowel to a neutral one, such as a schwa.
Category relationships: Linguistics
Generic synonyms: Reduce

8. Adjective. Not famous or acclaimed. "Unsung heroes of the war"
Exact synonyms: Unknown, Unsung
Similar to: Inglorious
Derivative terms: Obscureness, Obscurity

9. Verb. Make undecipherable or imperceptible by obscuring or concealing. "A veiled threat"
Exact synonyms: Blot Out, Hide, Obliterate, Veil
Generic synonyms: Alter, Change, Modify
Related verbs: Efface, Obliterate
Specialized synonyms: Mystify
Derivative terms: Hiding, Obliterable

10. Adjective. Not drawing attention. "An obscure flaw"
Exact synonyms: Unnoticeable
Similar to: Inconspicuous, Invisible
Derivative terms: Unnoticeableness

11. Adjective. Remote and separate physically or socially. "An obscure village"
Exact synonyms: Apart, Isolated
Similar to: Unconnected

Definition of Obscure

1. a. Covered over, shaded, or darkened; destitute of light; imperfectly illuminated; dusky; dim.

2. v. t. 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.

3. v. i. To conceal one's self; to hide; to keep dark.

4. n. Obscurity.

Definition of Obscure

1. Adjective. Dark, faint or indistinct. ¹

2. Adjective. Hidden, out of sight or inconspicuous. ¹

3. Adjective. Difficult to understand. ¹

4. Verb. (transitive) To darken, make faint etc. ¹

5. Verb. (transitive) To hide, put out of sight etc. ¹

¹ Source:

Definition of Obscure

1. dark or indistinct [adj -SCURER, -SCUREST] / to make obscure [v -SCURED, -SCURING, -SCURES] - See also: obscure

Medical Definition of Obscure

1. 1. Covered over, shaded, or darkened; destitute of light; imperfectly illuminated; dusky; dim. "His lamp shall be put out in obscure darkness." (Prov. Xx. 20) 2. Of or pertaining to darkness or night; inconspicuous to the sight; indistinctly seen; hidden; retired; remote from observation; unnoticed. "The obscure bird Clamored the livelong night." (Shak) "The obscure corners of the earth." (Sir J. Davies) 3. Not noticeable; humble; mean. "O base and obscure vulgar." . "An obscure person." 4. Not easily understood; not clear or legible; abstruse or blind; as, an obscure passage or inscription. 5. Not clear, full, or distinct; clouded; imperfect; as, an obscure view of remote objects. Obscure rays, those rays which are not luminous or visible, and which in the spectrum are beyond the limits of the visible portion. Synonym: Dark, dim, darksome, dusky, shadowy, misty, abstruse, intricate, difficult, mysterious, retired, unnoticed, unknown, humble, mean, indistinct. Origin: L. Obscurus, orig, covered; ob- (see Ob-) + a root probably meaning, to cover; cf. L. Scutum shield, Skr. Sku to cover: cf.F. Obscur. Cf.Sky. Source: Websters Dictionary (01 Mar 1998)

Lexicographical Neighbors of Obscure

obscure (current term)

Literary usage of Obscure

Below you will find example usage of this term as found in modern and/or classical literature:

1. An Essay Concerning Human Understanding by John Locke (1894)
"Ideas, some clear and distinct, others obscure and confused. ... The first is, that some are clear and others obscure; some distinct and others ..."

2. The Poetical Works of John Dryden by John Dryden (1909)
"But, says Scaliger, he is so obscure, that he has got himself the name of ... Now, says Casaubon, Ч is a wonder to me that anything could be obscure to the ..."

3. The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon (1887)
"68 Without approving the malice, it is natural enough to »hare the surprise of the sophist, the spectator of a revolution which raised those obscure victims ..."

4. The American Journal of the Medical Sciences by Southern Society for Clinical Investigation (U.S.) (1866)
"obscure Diseases of the Brain and Mind. By FORBES WINS- LOW, MD. DCL, Oxon. etc. etc. etc. Second American, from the Third and Revised English Edition. ..."

5. Notes and Queries by Martim de Albuquerque (1861)
"As far аз we can follow the argument, which becomes obscure at this point, ... The argument is very obscure, though it is sustained by abundant citations ..."

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