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obscure

[uh b-skyoo r] /əbˈskyʊər/
adjective, obscurer, obscurest.
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).
verb (used with object), obscured, obscuring.
12.
to conceal or conceal by confusing (the meaning of a statement, poem, etc.).
13.
to make dark, dim, indistinct, etc.
14.
to reduce or neutralize (a vowel) to the sound usually represented by a schwa (ə).
noun
15.
Origin
1350-1400
1350-1400; Middle English < Old French oscur, obscur < Latin obscūrus dark
Related forms
obscuredly
[uh b-skyoo r-id-lee] /əbˈskyʊər ɪd li/ (Show IPA),
obscurely, adverb
obscureness, noun
subobscure, adjective
subobscurely, adverb
subobscureness, noun
unobscure, adjective
unobscurely, adverb
unobscureness, noun
unobscured, adjective
Synonyms
1. doubtful, dubious. See mysterious. 4. blurred, veiled. 6. undistinguished, unnoted, unknown. 7. secluded, inconspicuous, unnoticeable, unnoticed. 8. cloudy, dusky, somber. See dark.
Antonyms
1. certain. 4. clear. 6. noted. 7. conspicuous. 8. bright.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for obscuring
  • The missile's transparent nose cone had been painted over, obscuring the camera that had been installed to help guide it.
  • By this power she carries her readers behind the veil obscuring less gifted apprehension.
  • But now rain is pounding down, obscuring the monster storm bearing down on his two-story farmhouse.
  • Gray ranks of portable toilets are set up near the waterfront, obscuring the view of the ocean.
  • The insurance schema protects the main redistributive work of the programme by obscuring it.
  • Once upon a time, that meant obscuring and denying the plain truth that the sport can turn players' brains into mush.
  • Swan's electric lamp deposited a dark layer of soot inside its inner surface, obscuring the light.
  • These lenses split the stereoscopic picture, sending one part to each eye, while obscuring the other.
  • Proponents of objectivity argue that its loss will mean a chorus of shrill, confusing voices further obscuring the truth.
  • After first checking out the target, one group had to putt the ball under a curtain obscuring the view.
British Dictionary definitions for obscuring

obscure

/əbˈskjʊə/
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
verb (transitive)
7.
to make unclear, vague, or hidden
8.
to cover or cloud over
9.
(phonetics) to pronounce (a vowel) with articulation that causes it to become a neutral sound represented by (ə)
noun
10.
a rare word for obscurity
Derived Forms
obscuration (ˌɒbskjʊˈreɪʃən) noun
obscurely, adverb
obscureness, 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
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Word Origin and History for obscuring

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.

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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