- (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).
- 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).
Origin of obscure
SynonymsSee more synonyms for obscure on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for obscuring
He could, theoretically, present himself as a model citizen who made a mistake while obscuring what the mistakes been.The Weirdest Story About a Conservative Obsession, a Convicted Bomber, and Taylor Swift You Have Ever Read
August 30, 2014
In this case, the rapid flow obviously was lying directly between the black hole and us, obscuring our view.The Supermassive Black Hole Smokescreen
Matthew R. Francis
June 22, 2014
The Guardian recently wondered whether “the breasts are obscuring the message.”Femen's Topless Sextremists Invade the US
February 23, 2014
One of the wages of polarization is the obscuring of what once was broad common ground even on supposed culture war issues.What We Didn’t Learn After Newtown
December 8, 2013
Her body was covered with a blanket when it was found inside a cavern of the ancient walls, obscuring it from view.Istanbul Hunts for Sarai Sierra’s Killer
February 7, 2013
And slowly the grey mist on the hills was obscuring the sun.The Hound From The North
Such use of language serves for nothing but the obscuring of thought.Socialism
What was the speck in his neighbor's vision to the obscuring beam in his own eye?Jesus the Christ
James Edward Talmage
From them arose a thick pall of smoke, obscuring the German positions.Fighting in France
Stone dust was obscuring the figure now, glittering in the sunlight.The Worshippers
Damon Francis Knight
- 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
Word Origin and History for obscuring
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.
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.