9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[dim] /dɪm/
adjective, dimmer, dimmest.
not bright; obscure from lack of light or emitted light:
a dim room; a dim flashlight.
not seen clearly or in detail; indistinct:
a dim object in the distance.
not clear to the mind; vague:
a dim idea.
not brilliant; dull in luster:
a dim color.
not clear or distinct to the senses; faint:
a dim sound.
not seeing clearly:
eyes dim with tears.
tending to be unfavorable; not likely to happen, succeed, be favorable, etc.:
a dim chance of winning.
not understanding clearly.
rather stupid; dim-witted.
verb (used with object), dimmed, dimming.
to make dim or dimmer.
to switch (the headlights of a vehicle) from the high to the low beam.
verb (used without object), dimmed, dimming.
to become or grow dim or dimmer.
Verb phrases
dim out, (in wartime) to reduce the night illumination of (a city, ship, etc.) to make it less visible from the air or sea, as a protection from enemy aircraft or ships.
take a dim view of, to regard with disapproval, skepticism, or dismay:
Her mother takes a dim view of her choice of friends.
Origin of dim
before 1000; Middle English, Old English dim(me), cognate with Old Frisian dim, Old Norse dimmr
Related forms
dimly, adverb
dimmable, adjective
dimness, noun
undim, adjective
undimly, adverb
undimmed, adjective
1. See dark. 3. unclear, faint, indefinite, indistinct, fuzzy, hazy. 10. darken, cloud. 12. dull, fade. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for dimly
  • Yet many college instructors are only dimly familiar with that research.
  • The dimly lit room has low ceilings and poor ventilation.
  • It was one particular display case in the dimly lit exhibition room that aroused these thoughts.
  • Her office is small and dimly lit, the desk cramped among reams of books and research papers.
  • We were shuttled into a little dimly lit closet of a room where a doctor joined us about a half hour later.
  • They are dimly-lit and cooled by the water underneath, which you can sometimes see through gaps at the sides.
  • Yellow light from a table lamp pours onto the book and dimly illuminates the cozy brown room.
  • From a charpoy-a bed of sticks and string-set outside the hut, the boughs of the overhanging trees are dimly visible.
  • Groggy with ether, nauseous with the rocking of the boat, he could dimly feel that weights had been attached to his legs.
  • Customs officers crawl through dimly lit aircraft cavities, arrests, prosecutions and fines are made.
British Dictionary definitions for dimly


adjective dimmer, dimmest
badly illuminated: a dim room
not clearly seen; indistinct; faint: a dim shape
having weak or indistinct vision: eyes dim with tears
lacking in understanding; mentally dull
not clear in the mind; obscure: a dim memory
lacking in brilliance, brightness, or lustre: a dim colour
tending to be unfavourable; gloomy or disapproving (esp in the phrase take a dim view)
verb dims, dimming, dimmed
to become or cause to become dim
(transitive) to cause to seem less bright, as by comparison
(US & Canadian) (transitive) to switch (car headlights) from the main to the lower beam Also called (in Britain and certain other countries) dip
Derived Forms
dimly, adverb
dimness, noun
Word Origin
Old English dimm; related to Old Norse dimmr gloomy, 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
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Word Origin and History for dimly



Old English dimm "dark, gloomy, obscure," from Proto-Germanic *dimbaz (cf. Old Norse dimmr, Old Frisian dim, Old High German timber "dark, black, somber"). Not known outside Germanic. Slang sense of "stupid" is from 1892. Related: Dimly; dimness.


c.1200, perhaps in Old English, from dim (adj.). Related: Dimmed; dimming.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for dimly



Stupid; uncomprehending: Anybody who pays to watch these teams has to be considered just a bit dim (1892+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with dimly


The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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