Word of the Day

Thursday, November 19, 2009


\OB-fuh-skayt\ , transitive verb;
To darken or render indistinct or dim.
To make obscure or difficult to understand or make sense of.
To confuse or bewilder.
Yet little has been written of him (he obfuscated details of his life in interviews), and his art is little recalled.
-- Gary Giddins, Visions of Jazz
One of Jack Gance's better choices is when he decides not to obfuscate his past in order to protect his success.
-- Judith Martin, "No One Stays Clean in Washington.", New York Times, January 1, 1989
It's to be expected that teams' publicity departments do a little spin-doctoring and enhance their players' performances by using numbers that appear to be impressive, so it's up to the commentators to determine if those stats have validity or are meant to obfuscate poor performances.
-- Tim McCarver with Danny Peary, Tim Mccarver's Baseball for Brain Surgeons and Other Fans
It will . . . obfuscate and mislead the public.
-- Rod Liddle, "Labour's attack on Gilligan is just nit-picking", The Guardian, August 13, 2003
Obfuscate comes from Late Latin obfuscatus, past participle of obfuscare, "to darken," from Latin ob- + fuscare, "to darken," from fuscus, "dark." The noun form is obfuscation.
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