- not bright; obscure from lack of light or emitted light: a dim room; a dim flashlight.
- not seen clearly or in detail; indistinct: a dim object in the distance.
- not clear to the mind; vague: a dim idea.
- not brilliant; dull in luster: a dim color.
- not clear or distinct to the senses; faint: a dim sound.
- not seeing clearly: eyes dim with tears.
- tending to be unfavorable; not likely to happen, succeed, be favorable, etc.: a dim chance of winning.
- not understanding clearly.
- rather stupid; dim-witted.
- to make dim or dimmer.
- to switch (the headlights of a vehicle) from the high to the low beam.
- to become or grow dim or dimmer.
- dim out, (in wartime) to reduce the night illumination of (a city, ship, etc.) to make it less visible from the air or sea, as a protection from enemy aircraft or ships.
- take a dim view of, to regard with disapproval, skepticism, or dismay: Her mother takes a dim view of her choice of friends.
Origin of dim
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for dimly
On the inside is the usual mix of off-white, flecked linoleum tiles and segmented ceiling panels, dull and dimly lit.Native American Basketball Team in Wyoming Have Hoop Dreams Of Their Own
August 31, 2014
We sat in his dimly lit office—no bigger than a broom closet—where we commiserated over the current state of American medicine.I Got a Weed License in Minutes
June 24, 2014
There are curtained cubicles for seeing the doctor, dimly lit halls, a smell of stopped-up toilets.Adam Hochschild on Keeping Company With His Dying Father
June 14, 2014
The setting was the Satyricon, a small, dimly lit nightclub in Portland, Oregon.The Moment Kurt Cobain Met Courtney Love
Charles R. Cross
April 5, 2014
I dimly recalled seeing Rod Dreher blog about this happening in malls near his home.Criminal Flash Mobs. Apparently, That's a Thing Now.
February 26, 2013
But the thought which had dimly haunted him that day blossomed on this evening.Ester Ried Yet Speaking
We felt, dimly, as if we had had a "warning," and did not yet know how to profit by it.
Dimly it passed through my mind that she had been profiting by her lessons lately.
Dimly I gathered that she had stumbled, and he had saved her from falling.
He was dimly conscious of a dark object hurtling through the air.The Black Bag
Louis Joseph Vance
- badly illuminateda dim room
- not clearly seen; indistinct; fainta dim shape
- having weak or indistinct visioneyes dim with tears
- lacking in understanding; mentally dull
- not clear in the mind; obscurea dim memory
- lacking in brilliance, brightness, or lustrea dim colour
- tending to be unfavourable; gloomy or disapproving (esp in the phrase take a dim view)
- to become or cause to become dim
- (tr) to cause to seem less bright, as by comparison
- US and Canadian (tr) to switch (car headlights) from the main to the lower beamAlso called (in Britain and certain other countries): dip
Word Origin and History for dimly
c.1200, perhaps in Old English, from dim (adj.). Related: Dimmed; dimming.
Old English dimm "dark, gloomy, obscure," from Proto-Germanic *dimbaz (cf. Old Norse dimmr, Old Frisian dim, Old High German timber "dark, black, somber"). Not known outside Germanic. Slang sense of "stupid" is from 1892. Related: Dimly; dimness.
Idioms and Phrases with dimly
see take a dim view.