[uh b-skyoo r-uh n-tiz-uh m, ob-skyoo-ran-tiz-uh m]


opposition to the increase and spread of knowledge.
deliberate obscurity or evasion of clarity.

Origin of obscurantism

1825–35; < French obscurantisme; see obscurant, -ism
Related formsob·scu·rant·ist, noun, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for obscurantism

Contemporary Examples of obscurantism

Historical Examples of obscurantism

  • For simply differing from the obscurantism of his age, and having opinions of his own.

    In the Heart of Vosges

    Matilda Betham-Edwards

  • Obscurantism is better than the light of incendiary torches.

    Under Western Eyes

    Joseph Conrad

  • Its greatest crime was obscurantism, which was war on knowledge and civilization.


    William Graham Sumner

  • In the East the harem is, as Vambéry well says, the "bulwark of obscurantism."

    The New World of Islam

    Lothrop Stoddard

  • In a certain sense every form of responsibility is obscurantism.

    Suspended Judgments

    John Cowper Powys

Word Origin and History for obscurantism

"opposition to enlightenment," 1834, from German obscurantismus (18c.); see obscurant + -ism.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper