[ uhb-skyoor ]
/ əbˈskyʊər /
adjective, ob·scur·er, ob·scur·est.
(of meaning) not clear or plain; ambiguous, vague, or uncertain: an obscure sentence in the contract.
not clear to the understanding; hard to perceive: obscure motivations.
(of language, style, a speaker, etc.) not expressing the meaning clearly or plainly.
indistinct to the sight or any other sense; not readily seen, heard, etc.; faint.
inconspicuous or unnoticeable: the obscure beginnings of a great movement.
of little or no prominence, note, fame, or distinction: an obscure French artist.
far from public notice, worldly affairs, or important activities; remote; retired: an obscure little town.
lacking in light or illumination; dark; dim; murky: an obscure back room.
enveloped in, concealed by, or frequenting darkness.
not bright or lustrous; dull or darkish, as color or appearance.
(of a vowel) having the reduced or neutral sound usually represented by the schwa (ə).
verb (used with object), ob·scured, ob·scur·ing.
to conceal or conceal by confusing (the meaning of a statement, poem, etc.).
to make dark, dim, indistinct, etc.
to reduce or neutralize (a vowel) to the sound usually represented by a schwa (ə).
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Origin of obscure
1350–1400; Middle English < Old French oscur, obscur < Latin obscūrus dark
SYNONYMS FOR obscure
4 blurred, veiled.
OTHER WORDS FROM obscure
ob·scur·ed·ly [uhb-skyoor-id-lee] /əbˈskyʊər ɪd li/, ob·scure·ly, adverbob·scure·ness, nounsub·ob·scure, adjectivesub·ob·scure·ly, adverb
sub·ob·scure·ness, nounun·ob·scure, adjectiveun·ob·scure·ly, adverbun·ob·scure·ness, nounun·ob·scured, adjective
Words nearby obscure
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020
Example sentences from the Web for obscureness
The system of Spinosa—for I allude to him—is, it is true, in ill repute for its obscureness and unintelligibility.The philosophy of life, and philosophy of language, in a course of lectures|Frederick von Schlegel
Then it was rain, wind, obscureness of gloom, and lightning.The Mutiny of the Elsinore|Jack London
British Dictionary definitions for obscureness
/ (əbˈskjʊə) /
unclear or abstruse
indistinct, vague, or indefinite
inconspicuous or unimportant
hidden, secret, or remote
(of a vowel) reduced to or transformed into a neutral vowel (ə)
gloomy, dark, clouded, or dim
to make unclear, vague, or hidden
to cover or cloud over
phonetics to pronounce (a vowel) with articulation that causes it to become a neutral sound represented by (ə)
a rare word for obscurity
Derived forms of obscureobscuration (ˌɒbskjʊˈreɪʃən), nounobscurely, adverbobscureness, noun
Word Origin for obscure
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