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
Related formsdim·ly, adverbdim·ma·ble, adjectivedim·ness, nounun·dim, adjectiveun·dim·ly, adverbun·dimmed, adjective

Synonyms for dim

Synonym study

1. See dark. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for dimly

Contemporary Examples of dimly

Historical Examples of dimly

  • But the thought which had dimly haunted him that day blossomed on this evening.

  • We felt, dimly, as if we had had a "warning," and did not yet know how to profit by it.

    It Happened in Egypt

    C. N. Williamson

  • Dimly I gathered that she had stumbled, and he had saved her from falling.

    It Happened in Egypt

    C. N. Williamson

  • Dimly it passed through my mind that she had been profiting by her lessons lately.

    It Happened in Egypt

    C. N. Williamson

  • He was dimly conscious of a dark object hurtling through the air.

    The Black Bag

    Louis Joseph Vance

British Dictionary definitions for dimly


adjective dimmer or dimmest

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)

verb dims, dimming or dimmed

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
Derived Formsdimly, 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

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with dimly


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.