9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[ob-fuh-skeyt, ob-fuhs-keyt] /ˈɒb fəˌskeɪt, ɒbˈfʌs keɪt/
verb (used with object), obfuscated, obfuscating.
to confuse, bewilder, or stupefy.
to make obscure or unclear:
to obfuscate a problem with extraneous information.
to darken.
Origin of obfuscate
1525-35; < Late Latin obfuscātus (past participle of obfuscāre to darken), equivalent to Latin ob- ob- + fusc(us) dark + -ātus -ate1
Related forms
obfuscation, noun
[ob-fuhs-kuh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee] /ɒbˈfʌs kəˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i/ (Show IPA),
unobfuscated, adjective
1. muddle, perplex. 2. cloud.
1. clarify. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for obfuscatory
  • New indicators would blast away the obfuscatory polemics of growth--and the devious politics that goes along with it.
  • He cuts through obfuscatory accounting to focus on one basic indicator of the health of a manufacturer.
  • Despite the obfuscatory fog of generalities, one thing is reasonably obvious.
  • However, it's obfuscatory to cite that as your reason for having to land when your audience doesn't know what it means.
  • It would be interesting to have it-if it is not limited to obfuscatory generalities.
  • Maybe what is present usurps what becomes absent, and maybe the absence of obfuscatory things reveals what is present.
  • And if they truly believed they had a good case to make, they would not rely on obfuscatory language.
British Dictionary definitions for obfuscatory


verb (transitive)
to obscure or darken
to perplex or bewilder
Derived Forms
obfuscatory, adjective
Word Origin
C16: from Latin ob- (intensive) + fuscāre to blacken, from fuscus 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 obfuscatory



1530s, from Latin obfuscatus, past participle of obfuscare "to darken," from ob "over" (see ob-) + fuscare "to make dark," from fuscus "dark" (see dusk). Related: Obfuscated; obfuscating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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