What does obscure mean?

Definitions for obscure

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word obscure.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. obscure, vague(adj)

    not clearly understood or expressed

    "an obscure turn of phrase"; "an impulse to go off and fight certain obscure battles of his own spirit"-Anatole Broyard; "their descriptions of human behavior become vague, dull, and unclear"- P.A.Sorokin; "vague...forms of speech...have so long passed for mysteries of science"- John Locke

  2. dark, obscure(adj)

    marked by difficulty of style or expression

    "much that was dark is now quite clear to me"; "those who do not appreciate Kafka's work say his style is obscure"

  3. hidden, obscure(adj)

    difficult to find

    "hidden valleys"; "a hidden cave"; "an obscure retreat"

  4. obscure, unknown, unsung(adj)

    not famous or acclaimed

    "an obscure family"; "unsung heroes of the war"

  5. obscure, unnoticeable(adj)

    not drawing attention

    "an unnoticeable cigarette burn on the carpet"; "an obscure flaw"

  6. apart(p), isolated, obscure(verb)

    remote and separate physically or socially

    "existed over the centuries as a world apart"; "preserved because they inhabited a place apart"- W.H.Hudson; "tiny isolated villages remote from centers of civilization"; "an obscure village"

  7. obscure, befog, becloud, obnubilate, haze over, fog, cloud, mist(verb)

    make less visible or unclear

    "The stars are obscured by the clouds"; "the big elm tree obscures our view of the valley"

  8. confuse, blur, obscure, obnubilate(verb)

    make unclear, indistinct, or blurred

    "Her remarks confused the debate"; "Their words obnubilate their intentions"

  9. obscure, bedim, overcloud(verb)

    make obscure or unclear

    "The distinction was obscured"

  10. obscure(verb)

    reduce a vowel to a neutral one, such as a schwa

  11. obscure, blot out, obliterate, veil, hide(verb)

    make undecipherable or imperceptible by obscuring or concealing

    "a hidden message"; "a veiled threat"


  1. obscure(Verb)

    To darken, make faint etc.

  2. obscure(Verb)

    To hide, put out of sight etc.

  3. obscure(Adjective)

    Dark, faint or indistinct.

  4. obscure(Adjective)

    Hidden, out of sight or inconspicuous.

  5. obscure(Adjective)

    Difficult to understand.

  6. Origin: From obscur, from obscurus, possibly, from ob + , from root scu, seen also in scutum; see scutum, sky.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Obscure

    covered over, shaded, or darkened; destitute of light; imperfectly illuminated; dusky; dim

  2. Obscure

    of or pertaining to darkness or night; inconspicuous to the sight; indistinctly seen; hidden; retired; remote from observation; unnoticed

  3. Obscure

    not noticeable; humble; mean

  4. Obscure

    not easily understood; not clear or legible; abstruse or blind; as, an obscure passage or inscription

  5. Obscure

    not clear, full, or distinct; clouded; imperfect; as, an obscure view of remote objects

  6. Obscure(adj)

    to render obscure; to darken; to make dim; to keep in the dark; to hide; to make less visible, intelligible, legible, glorious, beautiful, or illustrious

  7. Obscure(verb)

    to conceal one's self; to hide; to keep dark

  8. Obscure(noun)


  9. Origin: [L. obscurare, fr. obscurus: cf. OF. obscurer. See Obscure, a.]


  1. ObsCure

    ObsCure is a survival horror video game developed by Hydravision Entertainment and published by DreamCatcher Interactive in North America, Ubisoft in China and MC2-Microïds in other territories for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 2 and Xbox. It was released on October 1, 2004 in Europe and North America on April 6, 2005.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Obscure

    ob-skūr′, adj. dark: not distinct: not easily understood: not clear, legible, or perspicuous: unknown: humble: unknown to fame: living in darkness.—v.t. to darken: to make less plain: to render doubtful.—ns. Obscū′rant, one who labours to prevent enlightenment or reform; Obscū′rantism, opposition to inquiry or reform; Obscū′rantist, an obscurant.—adj. pertaining to obscurantism.—n. Obscūrā′tion, the act of obscuring or state of being obscured.—adv. Obscūre′ly.—ns. Obscūre′ment; Obscūre′ness; Obscū′rer; Obscū′rity, state or quality of being obscure: darkness: an obscure place or condition: unintelligibleness: humility. [Fr.,—L. obscurus.]

The New Hacker's Dictionary

  1. obscure

    Used in an exaggeration of its normal meaning, to imply total incomprehensibility. “The reason for that last crash is obscure.” “The find(1) command's syntax is obscure!” The phrase moderately obscure implies that something could be figured out but probably isn't worth the trouble. The construction obscure in the extreme is the preferred emphatic form.

Suggested Resources

  1. obscure

    Song lyrics by obscure -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by obscure on the Lyrics.com website.

British National Corpus

  1. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'obscure' in Verbs Frequency: #1082

How to pronounce obscure?

  1. Alex
    US English

How to say obscure in sign language?

  1. obscure


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of obscure in Chaldean Numerology is: 1

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of obscure in Pythagorean Numerology is: 2

Examples of obscure in a Sentence

  1. Jerry Seinfeld:

    It’s a very obscure line.

  2. Thales:

    The past is certain, the future obscure.

  3. Horace:

    I strive to be brief, and become obscure.

  4. Horace:

    It is when I struggle to be brief that I become obscure.

  5. Horace:

    Brevis esse laboro, obscurus fio.(When I labor to be brief, I become obscure.)

Images & Illustrations of obscure

  1. obscureobscureobscureobscureobscure

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for obscure

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • مظلم, غامArabic
  • nezřetelný, temnýCzech
  • vernebeln, düster, verdunkeln, verdecken, undeutlich, obskur, verschleiern, unbedeutendGerman
  • obscuro, esconder, ocultarSpanish
  • مبهمPersian
  • hämärä, piiloutunut, vaikeaselkoinen, huomaamaton, hämärtää, piilottaaFinnish
  • obscurcir, obscur, sibyllinFrench
  • tompa, kétes hírűHungarian
  • nascosto, oscuro, vago, poco chiaro, indistinto, confuso, oscuratoItalian
  • 不明瞭, 朦朧Japanese
  • 애매한Korean
  • caecōLatin
  • whakarehurehu, rehurehuMāori
  • замаглен, мрачен, нејасенMacedonian
  • verborgen, duisterDutch
  • obskurNorwegian
  • [[mało]] [[znany]], ukryć, ciemny, przesłonić, ukryty, niewyraźny, zaciemnić, schowaćPolish
  • obscuroPortuguese
  • obscura, obscur, întuneca, ascuns, ascunde, întunecos, oculta, retrasRomanian
  • скрывать, смутный, затемнять, неясный, непонятный, скрытый, прятать, тёмный, безвестныйRussian
  • mörkSwedish
  • தெளிவற்றTamil
  • che khuấtVietnamese
  • 朦胧Chinese

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"obscure." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 23 Jan. 2020. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/obscure>.

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