obscure

obscure
obscure [əb skyoor′, äbskyoor′]
adj.
[OFr obscur < L obscurus, lit., covered over < ob- (see OB-) + IE * skuro- < base * (s)keu-, to cover, conceal > HIDE1, SKY]
1. lacking light; dim; dark; murky [the obscure night]
2. not easily perceived; specif.,
a) not clear or distinct; faint or undefined [an obscure figure or sound]
b) not easily understood; vague; cryptic; ambiguous [an obscure explanation]
c) in an inconspicuous position; hidden [an obscure village]
3. not well-known; not famous [an obscure scientist]
4. Phonet. pronounced as (ə) or (i) because it is not stressed; reduced; neutral: said of a vowel
vt.
obscured, obscuring [L obscurare < the adj.]
1. to make obscure; specif.,
a) to darken; make dim
b) to conceal from view; hide
c) to make less conspicuous; overshadow [a success that obscured earlier failures]
d) to make less intelligible; confuse [testimony that obscures the issue]
2. Phonet. to make (a vowel) obscure
n.
Rare OBSCURITY
obscurely
adv.
obscureness
n.
SYN.- OBSCURE applies to that which is perceived with difficulty either because it is concealed or veiled or because of obtuseness in the perceiver [their reasons remain obscure]; VAGUE implies such a lack of precision or exactness as to be indistinct or unclear [a vague idea ]; ENIGMATIC and CRYPTIC are used of that which baffles or perplexes, the latter word implying deliberate intention to puzzle [enigmatic behavior, a cryptic warning ]; AMBIGUOUS applies to that which puzzles because it allows of more than one interpretation [an ambiguous title ]; EQUIVOCAL is used of something ambiguous that is deliberately used to mislead or confuse [an equivocal answer ] -ANT. CLEAR, DISTINCT, OBVIOUS

English World dictionary. . 2014.

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