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obscurity

[uh b-skyoo r-i-tee] /əbˈskyʊər ɪ ti/
noun, plural obscurities.
1.
the state or quality of being obscure.
2.
the condition of being unknown:
He lived in obscurity for years before winning acclaim.
3.
uncertainty of meaning or expression; ambiguity.
4.
an unknown or unimportant person or thing.
5.
darkness; dimness; indistinctness.
Origin
late Middle English
1470-1480
1470-80; late Middle English < Middle French obscurite < Latin obscūritās, equivalent to obscūr(us) obscure + -itās -ity
Related forms
nonobscurity, noun, plural nonobscurities.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for obscurity
  • And yet as he keeps piling up the inventions and awards, his relative obscurity in wider society worries him.
  • But beyond that everything remains shrouded in obscurity.
  • Now our understanding of this civilization is once again threatened with obscurity.
  • But a new skin patch has resurrected the drugs from obscurity.
  • It was a twenty-year-long journey for this idea to move from virtual obscurity to today's growing popularity.
  • Security by obscurity simply doesn't work from long term perspective.
  • It turns out that a name's sad tumble into obscurity is tightly correlated with the speed of its rise.
  • Some service tasks will consign you to comparative obscurity.
  • The few who did tackle it worked abroad or in obscurity on a shoestring.
  • No easy feat, for sure, but it beats laboring in obscurity.
British Dictionary definitions for obscurity

obscurity

/əbˈskjʊərɪtɪ/
noun (pl) -ties
1.
the state or quality of being obscure
2.
an obscure person or thing
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 obscurity
n.

late 15c., "absence of light;" 1610s with meaning "condition of being unknown;" from obscure (adj.) + -ity; or else from Middle French obscurité, variant of Old French oscureté "darkness, gloom; vagueness, confusion; insignificance" (14c.), from Latin obscuritatem (nominative obscuritas) "darkness, indistinctness, uncertainty," from obscurus.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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