• synonyms


[uh b-skyoo r-uh n-tiz-uh m, ob-skyoo-ran-tiz-uh m]
See more synonyms for obscurantism on Thesaurus.com
  1. opposition to the increase and spread of knowledge.
  2. deliberate obscurity or evasion of clarity.
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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. 2018

Related Words for obscurantism

backlash, right, relapse, regression, withdrawal, retrogression, retreat, counterrevolution, obscurantism, retrenchment, Toryism

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper