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Idioms about dim

    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

before 1000; Middle English, Old English dim(me), cognate with Old Frisian dim,Old Norse dimmr

synonym study for dim

1. See dark.


Other definitions for dim (2 of 3)


(in prescriptions) one-half.

Origin of dim.

From the Latin word dīmidius

Other definitions for dim (3 of 3)


Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021


What does dim mean?

Dim describes something as lacking light or having a weak brightness, as in a dim flashlight or a dim tunnel. 

Dim also describes things that are unclear, because of poor visibility, a weak understanding, or a more general lack of clarity, as in a dim shape in the distance, a dim noise, or a dim knowledge of math. 

Dim also describes having weak or poor vision, as in Jane’s eyes were dim with tears. 

Dim can be used to mean lacking mental ability or having low intelligence. However, this is almost always considered insulting.

As a verb, dim means to make something dim or less bright, as in He dimmed the lights. It can also be used to mean to grow dim or dimmer, as in The noise of the engine dimmed as the car drove out of sight. 

Example: Although the tunnel was dim, the faint candlelight guided the miner back to the surface.

Where does dim come from?

The first records of dim come from before 1000. It ultimately comes from the Old English dimm, which is related to the Old Norse dimmr, meaning “gloomy” or “dark.”

The word dark is similar to dim but usually means a complete absence of light. A dark room would be one with the lights completely turned off, while a dim room still has a small, faint amount of light.

Dim is used to mean “disapproving” or “unfavorable” in the idiom take a dim view of, as in Her boss took a dim view of her constantly falling asleep at work.

Did you know ... ?

What are some other forms related to dim?

  • dimly (adverb)
  • dimmable (adjective)
  • dimmer (noun)
  • undim (adjective)

What are some synonyms for dim?

What are some words that share a root or word element with dim

What are some words that often get used in discussing dim?

How is dim used in real life?

Dim is commonly used, especially to mean a lack of brightness.



Try using dim!

Which of the following is NOT a synonym of dim?

A. clear
B. shadowy
C. dark
D. blurry

How to use dim in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for dim

/ (dɪm) /

adjective dimmer or dimmest
verb dims, dimming or dimmed

Derived forms of dim

dimly, adverbdimness, noun

Word Origin for dim

Old English dimm; related to Old Norse dimmr gloomy, dark
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Medical definitions for dim


dimidius (half)
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Other Idioms and Phrases with dim


see take a dim view.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.