View synonyms for dim.



abbreviation for

  1. (in prescriptions) one-half.



abbreviation for

  1. dimension.
  2. diminish.
  3. diminuendo.
  4. diminutive.



[ dim ]


, dim·mer, dim·mest.
  1. not bright; obscure from lack of light or emitted light:

    a dim room; a dim flashlight.

  2. not seen clearly or in detail; indistinct:

    a dim object in the distance.

  3. not clear to the mind; vague:

    a dim idea.

    Synonyms: unclear, hazy, fuzzy, indistinct, indefinite, faint

  4. not brilliant; dull in luster:

    a dim color.

  5. not clear or distinct to the senses; faint:

    a dim sound.

  6. not seeing clearly:

    eyes dim with tears.

  7. tending to be unfavorable; not likely to happen, succeed, be favorable, etc.:

    a dim chance of winning.

  8. not understanding clearly.
  9. rather stupid; dim-witted.

verb (used with object)

, dimmed, dim·ming.
  1. to make dim or dimmer.

    Synonyms: cloud, darken

  2. to switch (the headlights of a vehicle) from the high to the low beam.

verb (used without object)

, dimmed, dim·ming.
  1. to become or grow dim or dimmer.

    Synonyms: fade, dull

verb phrase

  1. (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.


/ dɪm /


  1. badly illuminated

    a dim room

  2. not clearly seen; indistinct; faint

    a dim shape

  3. having weak or indistinct vision

    eyes dim with tears

  4. lacking in understanding; mentally dull
  5. not clear in the mind; obscure

    a dim memory

  6. lacking in brilliance, brightness, or lustre

    a dim colour

  7. tending to be unfavourable; gloomy or disapproving (esp in the phrase take a dim view )


  1. to become or cause to become dim
  2. tr to cause to seem less bright, as by comparison
  3. tr to switch (car headlights) from the main to the lower beam Also called (in Britain and certain other countries)dip

Discover More

Derived Forms

  • ˈdimness, noun
  • ˈdimly, adverb

Discover More

Other Words From

  • dimly adverb
  • dimma·ble adjective
  • dimness noun
  • un·dim adjective
  • un·dimly adverb
  • un·dimmed adjective

Discover More

Word History and Origins

Origin of dim.1

From the Latin word dīmidius

Origin of dim.2

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

Discover More

Word History and Origins

Origin of dim.1

Old English dimm; related to Old Norse dimmr gloomy, dark

Discover More

Idioms and Phrases

  1. take a dim view of, to regard with disapproval, skepticism, or dismay:

    Her mother takes a dim view of her choice of friends.

More idioms and phrases containing dim.

see take a dim view .

Discover More

Synonym Study

See dark.

Discover More

Example Sentences

Justin gazed out from the dim interior as more than 300 police motorcycles from dozens of jurisdictions rumbled past.

The essential fault lies not with the stars around him, however dim, but with himself.

Below, the thick marshland and dim lights created a scene that Breman describes as “Joseph Conrad territory.”

In a dim backroom of a mud hut in Save, 82-year-old Teresa Nyirabutunda sits propped upright in bed by her daughter, Francine.

My concerns about the study do not dim my admiration for the fund itself or the work that it does.

She opened the letter by the flickering firelight, which was stronger on the hearthrug than the light of the dim November day.

Dr. Ashton walked out of the chapel, and Val stood for a few moments where he was, looking up and down in the dim light.

Any moment, if he looked up, he would meet eyes—eyes that gazed with dim yet definite recognition into his own across the night.

The contrast between the open street and the enclosed stuffiness of the dim and crowded interior was overwhelming.

By the dim light of the campfire they saw what they supposed were the sleeping forms of their enemies.


Related Words

Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

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