obscure

I
(Roget's IV) modif.
1. [Vague]
Syn. indistinct, vague, ambiguous, indeterminate, indefinite, enigmatic, cryptic, equivocal, unintelligible, impenetrable, inscrutable, unfathomable, unclear, insoluble, involved, uncertain, indecisive, undefined, intricate, illegible, incomprehensible, hazy, dark, dim, abstruse, unaccountable, inexplicable, inconceivable, complicated, illogical, imprecise, unreasoned, mixed up, doubtful, questionable, dubious, inexact, unreasoned, loose, ill-defined, unidentified, invisible, undisclosed, perplexing, escaping notice, mystical, veiled, secret, concealed, mysterious, recondite, esoteric, puzzling, confusing, confused, difficult, complex, lacking clarity, unreadable, contradictory, wanting precision, in need of clarifying, out of focus, in need of translation, murky, clear as mud*, too much for*, over one's head*, deep*, far out*; see also complex 2 , confused 2 , confusing , difficult 2 , uncertain 2 , vague 2 .
Ant. clear*, definite, distinct.
2. [Dark]
Syn. cloudy, dense, hazy; see dark 1 .
3. [Little known]
Syn. unknown, rare, hidden, covered, remote, removed, retired, reticent, secretive, seldom seen, unseen, inconspicuous, humble, invisible, abstruse, mysterious, deep, cryptic, oracular, enigmatic, esoteric, arcane, undisclosed, cabalistic, inexpressible, unapprehended, dark; see also distant 1 , irrelevant , profound 2 , secret 1 .
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 foreboding ] ; enigmatic and cryptic are used of that which baffles or perplexes, the latter word implying deliberate intention to puzzle [ an enigmatic smile, 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 ] v.
1. [To dim]
Syn. shadow, cloud, screen; see shade 2 .
2. [To conceal]
Syn. cover, veil, wrap; see disguise , hide 1 .
II
(Roget's 3 Superthesaurus)
I
v.
1. make indistinct conceal, obstruct, hide, camouflage, muddy, obfuscate, cloud, confuse.
2. darken dim, cloud, shadow.
ANT.: 1. make distinct, define, make clear, spotlight, expose. 2. lighten, brighten
II
a.
1. indistinct vague, faint, ambiguous, inconspicuous, unclear, indiscernible, imperceptible, hazy, nebulous, undistinguished, hard to make out.
2. dark gloomy, dusky, murky, dim, hazy, shadowy.
3. little known unknown, unseen, elusive, inconspicuous, unheard of, remote, unsung, insignificant.
ANT.: 1. distinct, clear, defined. 2. bright, sunny, light. 3. famous, well-known, notorious
III
(Roget's Thesaurus II) I adjective 1. Deficient in brightness: caliginous, dark, dim, dusky, murky. See LIGHT. 2. Not clearly perceived or perceptible: blear, bleary, cloudy, dim, faint, foggy, fuzzy, hazy, indefinite, indistinct, misty, shadowy, unclear, undistinct, vague. See CLEAR. 3. Far from centers of human population: back, insular, isolated, lonely, lonesome, outlying, out-of-the-way, remote, removed, secluded, solitary. Idiom: off the beaten path (or track). See NEAR. 4. Not readily noticed or seen: inconspicuous, uncon-spicuous, unnoticeable, unobtrusive. Idiom: having (or keeping) a low profile. See SEE. 5. Not known or not widely known by name: nameless, unheard-of, unknown. See KNOWLEDGE. 6. Liable to more than one interpretation: ambiguous, cloudy, equivocal, inexplicit, nebulous, uncertain, unclear, vague. See CERTAIN, CLEAR. II verb 1. To make dim or indistinct: becloud, bedim, befog, blear, blur, cloud, dim, dull, eclipse, fog, gloom, mist, obfuscate, overcast, overshadow, shadow. See CLEAR. 2. To conceal in obscurity: hide1, submerge. See SHOW. 3. To cut off from sight: block (out), conceal, hide1, obstruct, screen, shroud, shut off (or out). See SHOW.

English dictionary for students. 2013.

Synonyms:

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  • 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;… …   English World dictionary

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