[ uhb-skyoor ]
/ 蓹b藞sky蕣蓹r /
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See synonyms for: obscure / obscured / obscurer / obscures on Thesaurus.com

adjective, ob路scur路er, ob路scur路est.
verb (used with object), ob路scured, ob路scur路ing.
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Question 1 of 8
Which of the following words describes 鈥渟ky blue鈥?
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Origin of obscure

First recorded in 1350鈥1400; Middle English, from Old French oscur, obscur, from Latin obsc奴rus 鈥渄ark鈥

synonym study for obscure

1. See mysterious. 8. See dark.

historical usage of obscure

The adjective obscure first appears in English about 1425 (if not earlier); the verb appears around the same time. The adjective obscure comes from Anglo-French and Middle French oscur, obscur 鈥渨ithout light, dark (in color), hard to understand,鈥 from Latin obsc奴rus 鈥渄im, dark, dingy, faint,鈥 an adjective made up of the prefix ob- 鈥渢oward, against鈥 and the adjective sc奴rus, which does not occur in Latin.
The verb obscure may simply derive from the English adjective by functional shift (a change in the grammatical function of a word). Alternatively, the verb may derive from Middle French obscurer 鈥渢o make or become dark鈥 or from Latin obsc奴r膩re 鈥渢o cover, obscure, overshadow, conceal,鈥 a verb derived from obsc奴rus.
The unrecorded Latin adjective sc奴rus comes from the Proto-Indo-European root (s)keu-, (s)k奴- (with variants) 鈥渢o cover, envelop鈥 ( sc奴rus therefore means 鈥渃overed over鈥). In Germanic the variant skeu- forms the base of the noun skeujam 鈥渃loud cover, cloud,鈥 becoming sky虅 鈥渃loud鈥 in Old Norse, which is the immediate source of English sky (a 13th-century borrowing). The variant sk奴- forms the noun sk奴maz 鈥渟cum鈥 (because it covers the water), which becomes scum in English.


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

How to use obscure in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for obscure

/ (蓹b藞skj蕣蓹) /

verb (tr)
a rare word for obscurity

Derived forms of obscure

obscuration (藢蓲bskj蕣藞re瑟蕛蓹n), nounobscurely, adverbobscureness, noun

Word Origin for obscure

C14: via Old French from Latin obsc奴rus dark
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition 漏 William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 漏 HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012