Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “obscure”

obscure

adjective uk   /əbˈskjʊər/ us    /-ˈskjʊr/

obscure adjective (NOT KNOWN)

not known to many people: an obscure island in the Pacific an obscure 12th-century mysticUnknown and unfamiliar

obscure adjective (NOT CLEAR)

not clear and difficult to understand or see: Official policy has changed, for reasons that remain obscure. His answers were obscure and confusing.Difficult to understandComplicated and difficult to doPuzzle and confuse

obscure

verb [T] uk   /əbˈskjʊər/ us    /-ˈskjʊr/
to prevent something from being seen or heard: Two new skyscrapers had sprung up, obscuring the view from her window. The sun was obscured by clouds.Hiding and disguising to make something difficult to discover and understand: Managers deliberately obscured the real situation from federal investigators.Digressing and being indirect or evasiveMoving in order to avoid contactNot saying much
obscurely
adverb uk   /-li/ us  
The minister's statement was obscurely worded.Difficult to understandComplicated and difficult to doPuzzle and confuse
(Definition of obscure from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of obscure?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “obscure” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

stampede

When animals or people stampede, they all move quickly in the same direction, often because they are frightened.

Word of the Day

Blog

Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More