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obscure

[uh b-skyoo r]
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adjective, ob·scur·er, ob·scur·est.
  1. (of meaning) not clear or plain; ambiguous, vague, or uncertain: an obscure sentence in the contract.
  2. not clear to the understanding; hard to perceive: obscure motivations.
  3. (of language, style, a speaker, etc.) not expressing the meaning clearly or plainly.
  4. indistinct to the sight or any other sense; not readily seen, heard, etc.; faint.
  5. inconspicuous or unnoticeable: the obscure beginnings of a great movement.
  6. of little or no prominence, note, fame, or distinction: an obscure French artist.
  7. far from public notice, worldly affairs, or important activities; remote; retired: an obscure little town.
  8. lacking in light or illumination; dark; dim; murky: an obscure back room.
  9. enveloped in, concealed by, or frequenting darkness.
  10. not bright or lustrous; dull or darkish, as color or appearance.
  11. (of a vowel) having the reduced or neutral sound usually represented by the schwa (ə).
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verb (used with object), ob·scured, ob·scur·ing.
  1. to conceal or conceal by confusing (the meaning of a statement, poem, etc.).
  2. to make dark, dim, indistinct, etc.
  3. to reduce or neutralize (a vowel) to the sound usually represented by a schwa (ə).
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noun
  1. obscurity.
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Origin of obscure

1350–1400; Middle English < Old French oscur, obscur < Latin obscūrus dark
Related formsob·scur·ed·ly [uh b-skyoo r-id-lee] /əbˈskyʊər ɪd li/, ob·scure·ly, adverbob·scure·ness, nounsub·ob·scure, adjectivesub·ob·scure·ly, adverbsub·ob·scure·ness, nounun·ob·scure, adjectiveun·ob·scure·ly, adverbun·ob·scure·ness, nounun·ob·scured, adjective

Synonyms

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1. doubtful, dubious. 4. blurred, veiled. 6. undistinguished, unnoted, unknown. 7. secluded, inconspicuous, unnoticeable, unnoticed. 8. cloudy, dusky, somber.

Synonym study

1. See mysterious. 8. See dark.

Antonyms

1. certain. 4. clear. 6. noted. 7. conspicuous. 8. bright.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for obscurely

obscure

adjective
  1. unclear or abstruse
  2. indistinct, vague, or indefinite
  3. inconspicuous or unimportant
  4. hidden, secret, or remote
  5. (of a vowel) reduced to or transformed into a neutral vowel (ə)
  6. gloomy, dark, clouded, or dim
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verb (tr)
  1. to make unclear, vague, or hidden
  2. to cover or cloud over
  3. phonetics to pronounce (a vowel) with articulation that causes it to become a neutral sound represented by (ə)
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noun
  1. a rare word for obscurity
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Derived Formsobscuration (ˌɒbskjʊˈreɪʃən), nounobscurely, adverbobscureness, noun

Word Origin

C14: via Old French from Latin obscūrus 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 obscurely

obscure

adj.

c.1400, "dark," figuratively "morally unenlightened; gloomy," from Old French obscur, oscur "dark, clouded, gloomy; dim, not clear" (12c.) and directly from Latin obscurus "dark, dusky, shady," figuratively "unknown; unintelligible; hard to discern; from insignificant ancestors," from ob "over" (see ob-) + -scurus "covered," from PIE *(s)keu- "to cover, conceal" (see sky). Related: Obscurely.

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obscure

v.

early 15c., "to cover (something), cloud over," from obscure (adj.) or else from Middle French obscurer, from Latin obscurare "to make dark, darken, obscure," from obscurus. Related: Obscured; obscuring.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper