- (of meaning) not clear or plain; ambiguous, vague, or uncertain: an obscure sentence in the contract.
- not clear to the understanding; hard to perceive: obscure motivations.
- (of language, style, a speaker, etc.) not expressing the meaning clearly or plainly.
- indistinct to the sight or any other sense; not readily seen, heard, etc.; faint.
- inconspicuous or unnoticeable: the obscure beginnings of a great movement.
- of little or no prominence, note, fame, or distinction: an obscure French artist.
- far from public notice, worldly affairs, or important activities; remote; retired: an obscure little town.
- lacking in light or illumination; dark; dim; murky: an obscure back room.
- enveloped in, concealed by, or frequenting darkness.
- not bright or lustrous; dull or darkish, as color or appearance.
- (of a vowel) having the reduced or neutral sound usually represented by the schwa (ə).
- to conceal or conceal by confusing (the meaning of a statement, poem, etc.).
- to make dark, dim, indistinct, etc.
- to reduce or neutralize (a vowel) to the sound usually represented by a schwa (ə).
Origin of obscure
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for obscured
A tugboat improbably sits high on the bank, obscured by tall grass, a broken oil rig hangs over the water nearby.The Congo's Forgotten Colonial Getaway
December 18, 2014
People were singing the national anthem as the whole front of the National Palace was obscured by a smoke cloud.Mexican Protesters Look to Start a New Revolution
November 21, 2014
He was captivated by footage of her escape through the hazy entryway of the supermarket, which was obscured by pepper spray.Westgate's Chilling Security Video Reveals Shopping Mall Bloodbath
September 15, 2014
The officers covered the peephole so that their faces would be obscured, and Taravati opened the door.‘Happy’ Dancers Arrested, Abused in Iran
May 21, 2014
The scenes of penetration are obscured with masking or blurring.Japan’s Desperate Housewives Opting for Adulterous Online Dating
Angela Erika Kubo, Jake Adelstein
April 2, 2014
They were beyond the line of battle and were not obscured by the clouds of smoke.The Rock of Chickamauga
Joseph A. Altsheler
For the moment a cloud had obscured the moon, and Fyles looked up.The Night Riders
The chronometer on the mantel was obscured by a thick layer of dust.Cap'n Eri
Joseph Crosby Lincoln
In such an event some of our stars must fall and some of the beams of our light must be obscured.Three Years in the Federal Cavalry
We could see areas where the surface was obscured by clouds.
- unclear or abstruse
- indistinct, vague, or indefinite
- inconspicuous or unimportant
- hidden, secret, or remote
- (of a vowel) reduced to or transformed into a neutral vowel (ə)
- gloomy, dark, clouded, or dim
- to make unclear, vague, or hidden
- to cover or cloud over
- phonetics to pronounce (a vowel) with articulation that causes it to become a neutral sound represented by (ə)
- a rare word for obscurity
Word Origin and History for obscured
c.1400, "dark," figuratively "morally unenlightened; gloomy," from Old French obscur, oscur "dark, clouded, gloomy; dim, not clear" (12c.) and directly from Latin obscurus "dark, dusky, shady," figuratively "unknown; unintelligible; hard to discern; from insignificant ancestors," from ob "over" (see ob-) + -scurus "covered," from PIE *(s)keu- "to cover, conceal" (see sky). Related: Obscurely.
early 15c., "to cover (something), cloud over," from obscure (adj.) or else from Middle French obscurer, from Latin obscurare "to make dark, darken, obscure," from obscurus. Related: Obscured; obscuring.