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Obscure   Listen
adjective
Obscure  adj.  (compar. obscurer; superl. obscurest)  
1.
Covered over, shaded, or darkened; destitute of light; imperfectly illuminated; dusky; dim. "His lamp shall be put out in obscure darkness."
2.
Of or pertaining to darkness or night; inconspicuous to the sight; indistinctly seen; hidden; retired; remote from observation; unnoticed. "The obscure bird Clamored the livelong night." "The obscure corners of the earth."
3.
Not noticeable; humble; mean. "O base and obscure vulgar." "An obscure person."
4.
Not easily understood; not clear or legible; abstruse or incomprehensible; as, an obscure passage or inscription.
5.
Not clear, full, or distinct; clouded; imperfect; as, an obscure view of remote objects.
Obscure rays (Opt.), those rays which are not luminous or visible, and which in the spectrum are beyond the limits of the visible portion.
Synonyms: Dark; dim; darksome; dusky; shadowy; misty; abstruse; intricate; difficult; mysterious; retired; unnoticed; unknown; humble; mean; indistinct.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Obscure" Quotes from Famous Books



... commencing one of those unusually transparent, full-starr'd, blue-black nights, as if to show that however lush and pompous the day may be, there is something left in the not-day that can outvie it. The rarest, finest sample of long-drawn-out clear-obscure, from sundown to 9 o'clock. I went down to the Delaware, and cross'd and cross'd. Venus like blazing silver well up in the west. The large pale thin crescent of the new moon, half an hour high, sinking languidly under a bar-sinister of cloud, and then emerging. Arcturus ...
— Complete Prose Works - Specimen Days and Collect, November Boughs and Goodbye My Fancy • Walt Whitman

... Unexplained dyspnea. 4. Dyspnea unrelieved by tracheotomy calls for bronchoscopic search for deeper obstruction. 5. Paralysis of the recurrent laryngeal nerve, the cause of which is not positively known. 6. Obscure thoracic disease. 7. Unexplained hemoptysis. 8. Unexplained ...
— Bronchoscopy and Esophagoscopy - A Manual of Peroral Endoscopy and Laryngeal Surgery • Chevalier Jackson

... understanding. To illustrate this, poetry again might be cited, for any one can read poetry, though many declare they cannot understand it. The simplest looking prose may be obscure to the mind which is slow in comprehending. When we read we get general ideas, cursory impressions; we catch the drift of the author's meaning. Reading for material must be more thorough than that. It ...
— Public Speaking • Clarence Stratton

... am aware of that. He will bring his instructions. I am old enough in state affairs to understand how people can be supplanted, without being actually deprived of office. First, he will produce a commission, couched in terms somewhat obscure and equivocal; he will stretch his authority, for the power is in his hands; if I complain, he will hint at secret instructions; if I desire to see them, he will answer evasively; if I insist, he will produce a paper of totally different import; and if this fail to satisfy me, he ...
— Egmont - A Tragedy In Five Acts • Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

... to determine what ought to be accomplished but to determine how to accomplish it. The affairs with which statutes have to deal as a rule involve the working of a great number and variety of motives incident to human nature, and the working of those motives depends upon complicated and often obscure facts of production, trade, social life, with which men generally are not familiar and which require study and investigation to understand. Thrusting a rigid prohibition or command into the operation of these forces is apt to produce quite unexpected and unintended results. Moreover, ...
— Experiments in Government and the Essentials of the Constitution • Elihu Root

... had any chance in life. He was born in an obscure hamlet of West Sussex, England, in Eighteen Hundred Four. His father was a poor farmer, who lost his freehold and died at the top, whipped out, discouraged, when the lad was ten years old. Richard Cobden became a porter, a clerk, a traveling ...
— Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great, Volume 9 - Subtitle: Little Journeys to the Homes of Great Reformers • Elbert Hubbard

... offered him, but sent to let Pericles know their intentions, that he might return home and resume his lawful right. It was matter of great surprise and joy to Simonides, to find that his son-in-law (the obscure knight) was the renowned Prince of Tyre; yet again he regretted that he was not the private gentleman he supposed him to be, seeing that he must now part both with his admired son-in-law and his beloved daughter, whom he feared to trust to the perils of the sea, because Thaisa ...
— Tales from Shakespeare • Charles Lamb and Mary Lamb

... may have fully decided the foot is at fault, our case of lameness may remain obscure so far as a cause is concerned. Nothing remains, then, but to acknowledge the inability to discover it, to advocate poulticing, or some other expectant palliative measure, and to bring the case up for further examination at no distant date. Where, though ...
— Diseases of the Horse's Foot • Harry Caulton Reeks

... give the preference to him. The managing partner merely carries out this feeling to a noble, not to say sublime extent, and becomes the philanthropist par excellence. Philanthropy is virtue, and virtue, we all know, is its own reward—that is, we all say; for in reality the idea is somewhat obscure. Perhaps we mean that it is the feeling of being virtuous which rewards the act of virtue, and if so, how happy must the managing partner be! Troubled by no vulgar ambition, by no hankering after notoriety, by no yearning to join ...
— Chambers's Edinburgh Journal, No. 462 - Volume 18, New Series, November 6, 1852 • Various

... sufferance, so to speak—why she should writhe inwardly with remorse because she had once thought of getting rid of a life which was nothing in every respect but a curse—that I could not understand. I thought it was very likely some obscure influence of common forms of speech, some traditional or inherited feeling—a vague notion that suicide is a legal crime; words of old moralists and preachers which remain in the air and help to form all the authorized moral conventions. Yes, I ...
— Chance • Joseph Conrad

... lips twitched and he stirred uneasily. His face was haggard, and behind his closed lids, somewhere in the center of thought and memory, a train of fiery words burned in an ever-widening circle, round and round and round, ploughing, searing their way through some obscure part of him that had heretofore been without feeling, but was now all quick ...
— Homespun Tales • Kate Douglas Wiggin

... Faun:" the first poem written in accordance with the theory of symbolism. But when it was given to me (this marvellous brochure furnished with strange illustrations and wonderful tassels), I thought it absurdly obscure. Since then, however, it has been rendered by force of contrast with the brain-curdling enigmas the author has since published a marvel of lucidity; and were I to read it now I should appreciate its many ...
— Confessions of a Young Man • George Moore

... remark that this post of Prophet to his Nation was not of his seeking; Knox had lived forty years quietly obscure, before he became conspicuous. He was the son of poor parents; had got a college education; become a priest; adopted the Reformation, and seemed well content to guide his own steps by the light of it, nowise unduly intruding it on others. He had lived as Tutor in gentlemen's families; preaching when ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, Vol. 1-20 • Various

... muffled. He determined to profit: by the circumstance, and turn aside, in the hope that his fleet pursuers would pass him unseen. A sheer was accordingly given to the boat, and instead of pulling directly toward the land the fugitives inclined to the westward; the sea appearing the most obscure in that direction, on account of the proximity of Capri, This artifice was completely successful. Yelverton was so eager in the chase, that he kept his eyes riveted before him, fancying from time to time that he saw the boat ahead, and he passed within a hundred and fifty yards ...
— The Wing-and-Wing - Le Feu-Follet • J. Fenimore Cooper

... "Garrison." Great happiness can obscure, befog like great sorrow. And there are some things that touch the heart too vitally to admit of analyzation. But long afterward, when time, mighty adjuster of the human soul, had given to events their true proportions, that meeting with "Cottonton" loomed ...
— Garrison's Finish - A Romance of the Race-Course • W. B. M. Ferguson

... of such a one as you. No, no,—I have been bred to humble toil all my days, and I could not be to you what you ought to ask. I am accustomed to a kind of loneliness and self-dependence. I have seen nothing, almost, of the world, such as you were born to move in. Leave me to my obscure place and duties; I shall at least have peace;—and you—you will surely find in due time some one better fitted by Nature and training to ...
— Elsie Venner • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

... of kindlier build, In fair Compassions skilled, Men of deep art in life-development; Watchers and warders of thy varied lands, Men surfeited of laying heavy hands, Upon the innocent, The mild, the fragile, the obscure content Among the myriads of thy family. Those, too, who love the true, the excellent, And make their daily moves ...
— The Dynasts - An Epic-Drama Of The War With Napoleon, In Three Parts, - Nineteen Acts, And One Hundred And Thirty Scenes • Thomas Hardy

... deepest depths. Its tortures were more than she could endure. For her there were, indeed, worse things waiting at the gate of life than death, and she resolved by suicide to escape from them. This part of her story is very obscure. But it is certain that her suicidal intentions were so nearly carried into effect, that she had written several letters containing her, as she thought, last wishes, and which were to be opened after all was over. There is no exact account of the manner in which ...
— Mary Wollstonecraft • Elizabeth Robins Pennell

... teacher was forced to pay her scanty dollars. There were bulletins, rules, counter-rules. As she talked, Sommers caught the atmosphere of the great engine to which she had given herself. A mere isolated atom, she was set in some obscure corner of this intricate machine, and she was compelled to revolve with the rest, as the rest, in the fear of disgrace and of hunger. The terms "special teachers," "grades of pay," "constructive work," "discipline," etc., had no special significance to him, typifying merely the exactions ...
— The Web of Life • Robert Herrick

... to a Doctor Mayle, who was conducting a special research into the cause of an obscure fever; and to the other officers of this headquarters of a Province. They were all young, Hillyard himself was older than ...
— The Summons • A.E.W. Mason

... and startling reverses of fortune. During that period of revolution and restless activity, we have seen peasants become princes, private soldiers occupying the thrones of great and civilized countries, obscure individuals in every walk of life raised by opportunity, genius, and the caprice of fate, to the most exalted positions. Some of these have maintained themselves on the giddy pinnacle on which fortune placed them. They are the few. Reverses, even more sudden and ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, No. CCCLXXVI. February, 1847. Vol. LXI. • Various

... mankind in masses,—the very thing from which the younger regular officers at least had been rigidly excluded. From a monastic life at West Point they had usually been transferred to a yet more isolated condition, in some obscure outpost,—or if otherwise, then they had seen no service at all, and were mere clerks in shoulder-straps. But a lawyer who could manoeuvre fifty witnesses as if they were one,—a teacher used to governing young men by the hundred,—an orator ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 14, No. 83, September, 1864 • Various

... scandal to the community. But the members were bound to take other measures for finding out the truth, and they resolved on praying and drawing lots. This resolution can be a ground of surprise only to those who are unacquainted with that obscure religious life which has gone on in the alleys of our towns. Silas knelt with his brethren, relying on his own innocence being certified by immediate divine interference, but feeling that there was sorrow and mourning behind for him even then—that ...
— Silas Marner - The Weaver of Raveloe • George Eliot

... surroundings, none the less than in its fabric, to warrant a deviation from well-worn roads in order to visit it. Chiefly of a late period, it possesses in the Tour de Hasting, named after the Danish pirate (though why seems obscure), which enfolds the north transept, a work of the best eleventh-century class. This should place the church, at once, within the scope of the designation of a "transition" type. In this tower the windows and pilasters are of the characteristic round variety ...
— The Cathedrals of Northern France • Francis Miltoun

... conditions it should be necessary to place the army on a war footing, only one course is left: we must meet the situation by calling out strategic reserves, which must be all the stronger since the political conditions are so complicated and obscure, and those opponents so strong on whose possible share in the war we must count. The strategic reserve will be to some extent a political one also. A series of protective measures, necessary in any case, would have to be at once set ...
— Germany and the Next War • Friedrich von Bernhardi

... unshaved, from a long boat passage, and lay down to sleep in the home of the parish schoolmaster. But he had been seen landing. The inhabitants had identified him for a Pict, as, by some singular confusion of name, they called the dark and dwarfish aboriginal people of the land. Immediately the obscure ferment of a race-hatred, grown into a superstition, began to work in their bosoms, and they crowded about the house and the room-door with fearful whisperings. For some time the schoolmaster held ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 16 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... not say so, my sister," said the pilgrim; "and yet, true it is, that the cousin of the obscure parasite Gaviston, on whom the king wished to confer my poor hand, was neither by birth, merit, nor circumstance, worthy of such an alliance. Meantime, I heard of the fame of Sir John de Walton; and I heard of it not with the less interest that his feats of chivalry were said to adorn a ...
— Waverley Volume XII • Sir Walter Scott

... in his path, glared a pair of red fiery orbs, with something dusky and obscure linked to them; but whether of man or beast he could ...
— The Lancashire Witches - A Romance of Pendle Forest • William Harrison Ainsworth

... 'the well turned and true filled lines in each of which he seems to shake a lance as brandished in the eyes of Ignorance,' without suspicion—without challenge, from the crowned Ignorance, or the Monster that crowned it. It is the history of this unknown, obscure, unhonoured Father of the Modern Age that unlocks ...
— The Philosophy of the Plays of Shakspere Unfolded • Delia Bacon

... himself. He was here on his own ground, for he is familiar with all that is known of the authentic history of Melrose and the popular tales connected with it. He pointed out many pieces of beautiful sculpture in obscure corners which would have escaped our notice. The Abbey has been built of a pale red stone; that part which was first erected of a very durable kind, the sculptured flowers and leaves and other minute ornaments ...
— Recollections of a Tour Made in Scotland A.D. 1803 • Dorothy Wordsworth

... Grace. The day was almost carried when the eloquent Alcalde, in glowing rhetoric, painted the splendid future awaiting the girl, under the patronage of the Bishop. How cruel to retain her in dreary little Simiti, even though Diego's claim still remained somewhat obscure, when His Grace, learning of her talents, had summoned her to Cartagena to be educated in the convent for a glorious future of service to God! Ah, that a like beautiful career awaited all the ...
— Carmen Ariza • Charles Francis Stocking

... so that the smoke was caught and held under the obstruction. Then they lifted it clear of the fire altogether, and the smoke, released, rose straight up in a long, tall column, that was visible for miles where the trees did not obscure the view. Once and again they repeated this, making three separate columns of smoke before they left the ...
— The Camp Fire Girls in the Mountains - or Bessie King's Strange Adventure • Jane L. Stewart

... is to account for the rapid progress of the Revolution, to point out the principal causes which enabled a few comparatively obscure men to overthrow in six weeks a ...
— Correspondence & Conversations of Alexis de Tocqueville with Nassau William Senior from 1834 to 1859, Vol. 2 • Alexis de Tocqueville

... were any pickings." He did not himself know Mr. Newell's address, but opined that it might be extracted from a certain official at the Consulate, if Garnett could give a sufficiently good reason for the request; and here in fact Mrs. Newell's emissary learned that her husband was to be found in an obscure street of ...
— The Hermit and the Wild Woman and Other Stories • Edith Wharton

... most capital consideration with regard to this, as to every object, is the extent of it. And here it is necessary to premise, this system of penalty and incapacity has for its object no small sect or obscure party, but a very numerous body of men,—a body which comprehends at least two thirds of that whole nation: it amounts to 2,800,000 souls, a number sufficient for the materials constituent of a great ...
— The Works of the Right Honourable Edmund Burke, Vol. VI. (of 12) • Edmund Burke

... leagues which lay between him and the city to which he was journeying with a power of prophetic vision that enabled him to realise a portion of the future that awaited him, he might have experienced some degree of misgiving. But, happily for him, no cloud arose to obscure the sunny picture which his imagination had drawn of the life that was opening before him. Roseate, indeed, were the hues in which his fancy had painted that picture, and foremost of all the objects that it contained was the famous cathedral, with its magnificent spire pointing into ...
— Story-Lives of Great Musicians • Francis Jameson Rowbotham

... has asked a friend in Surrey to send him some flower seeds for a garden in his camp. We hear that Mr. LYNCH, M.P., is convinced that this is merely an inspired attempt to obscure the real ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 152, April 11, 1917 • Various

... are not easy reading; his German style, though grammatical and idiomatic, is generally very involved and obscure, often turgid. There is a want of self-discipline about the thought, and he is too hasty in committing ill-digested thoughts ill-arranged to print, while his style is full of tedious mannerisms, such as his constant use of futile superlatives ...
— Wagner's Tristan und Isolde • George Ainslie Hight

... lost touch with the elderly accompanist; they had sent each other cards at Christmas and infrequently exchanged picture postcards, Miss Nippett's invariably being a front view of "Poulter's," with Mr Poulter on the steps in such a position as not to obscure "Turpsichor" ...
— Sparrows - The Story of an Unprotected Girl • Horace W. C. Newte

... this prophecy is obscure. The word translated "pierced" in the English version, may also in the opinion of Grotius, and I add of Rosenmuller too, as quoted by Mr. Everett in the 104. p. of his book, be best rendered "blasphemed or reproached." It may refer to the time ...
— Five Pebbles from the Brook • George Bethune English

... letter he shut up Coke upon Lyttleton for that term, and shook the dust off his feet on the threshold of Mr. Die's chambers. Why should he work? why sit there filling his brain with cobwebs, pouring over old fusty rules couched in obscure language, and useful only for assisting mankind to cheat each other? He had had an object; but that was gone. He had wished to prove to one heart, to one soul, that, young as he was, poor as he was, she need not fear to trust herself ...
— The Bertrams • Anthony Trollope

... off, while the male bird may be seen hopping or flying from tree to tree in the neighborhood of the nest and doing all he can to induce intruders to withdraw from the neighborhood. The eggs have a light clay-colored ground, marked with obscure blotches of lavender and darker lines, dots, and blotches of purplish brown. The Longspur is a strong flier, and seems to delight in breasting the strongest gales, when all the other birds appear to move with difficulty, and to keep themselves ...
— Birds Illustrated by Color Photograph [April, 1897] - A Monthly Serial designed to Promote Knowledge of Bird-Life • Various

... Hawaii, where he collected a large sum of money for the Church of the Latter Day Saints. At a given moment, he dropped his saintship and appeared as a Christian and the owner of a part of the island of Lanai. The steps of the transformation are obscure; they seem, at least, to have been ill-received at Salt Lake; and there is evidence to the effect that he was followed to the islands by Mormon assassins. His first attempt on politics was made under the auspices of what is ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 17 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... always open to suggestions as to the need of clarifying obscure phrases in his verses, but on one or two occasions, when I was so bold as to hint at changes, I found him in highly tractable moods. I called his attention to what I imagined might prove to be merely a printer's slip in his poem (a great favourite ...
— Recollections of Dante Gabriel Rossetti - 1883 • T. Hall Caine

... great case, which was pleaded and argued at considerable length, some years ago, in this country—I mean the case of the "King v. Peltier," in the court of King's Bench. That was the case of an action brought against an obscure individual, for a libel which he had published upon the sovereign of a neighbouring country, with whom we were then in a state of peace and amity. Now, I ask your lordships whether, supposing, in the course of the late Polish revolution, ...
— Maxims And Opinions Of Field-Marshal His Grace The Duke Of Wellington, Selected From His Writings And Speeches During A Public Life Of More Than Half A Century • Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington

... an unrecorded tragedy. In an obscure corner of the morning papers one learned the next day that a Frenchman, who had apparently come to the end of his means, had committed suicide in a furnished flat of Shaftesbury Avenue. Two foreigners were deported without having been brought up for trial, for ...
— Peter Ruff and the Double Four • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... that you are not the only preacher who has been talked about by his church, and branded by his official board with the mark of the devil in the name of the Lord. It's easy enough! Go farther, get a little obscure congregation somewhere, stay long enough to get a letter, not long enough to make another name; try another in the same fashion. Lay low, keep quiet, stay away from conventions, watch your chance, and—when the time is ripe—make a hit with the state workers in some other ...
— The Calling Of Dan Matthews • Harold Bell Wright

... that these can be obscure intimations of that bygone time when WE were rocked in the bosom of the Divine consciousness? Perhaps.... And now if the reader will pardon a piece of moralizing, we would say that these expressions teach us in the most emphatic way that—'This ...
— Continental Monthly, Vol. III, No IV, April 1863 - Devoted to Literature and National Policy • Various

... you speak this to oppose The saying of a sister Song of mine: This lowly Lady whom you call divine, Your sister called disdainful and morose. Though Heaven, you know, is ever bright and pure, Eyes may have cause to find a star obscure. ...
— The Banquet (Il Convito) • Dante Alighieri

... men were some fighting, some fleeing, some actually plundering and murdering by themselves in order that they might be taken for the invaders and so preserve their lives. Vitellius in dread put on a ragged, dirty, little tunic and concealed himself in an obscure alcove where dogs were kept, intending to run off during the night to Tarracina and join his brother. But the soldiers found him after a short search, for he could not long be sure of remaining hid, seeing that he had been emperor. They seized him, a mass of shavings and blood—for the ...
— Dio's Rome, Volume V., Books 61-76 (A.D. 54-211) • Cassius Dio

... the air, destiny or fate inevitable. The moving on process or progressive spirit was about to infect the obscure, remote, ignorant, contented little paroisse of Juchereau de St. Ignace when one April morning there stood upon the edge of rock nearest the great fall, still partly frozen into stiff angular masses, two men of entirely different aspects, tastes, and habits, yet both strongly agreed ...
— Ringfield - A Novel • Susie Frances Harrison

... of their band. At any rate, there is always a profound mystery connected with the hidden treasure, that envelops it with a tinge of romance and a spice of danger to those who seek to break the spell and lift the veil. There is also just enough known about it, which has leaked out through some obscure channel, to lend some slight probability to the story, and many have been the attempts to discover the bonanza by credulous and adventurous ...
— The History of Minnesota and Tales of the Frontier • Charles E. Flandrau

... Smerdyakov is accused only by the prisoner, his two brothers, and Madame Svyetlov. But there are others who accuse him: there are vague rumors of a question, of a suspicion, an obscure report, a feeling of expectation. Finally, we have the evidence of a combination of facts very suggestive, though, I admit, inconclusive. In the first place we have precisely on the day of the catastrophe that fit, for ...
— The Brothers Karamazov • Fyodor Dostoyevsky

... stayed quite a while at the studio, listening to Mere Bideau's garrulous confidences. Now and again he had asked her a question, forced thereto by some obscure but none the less intense desire to know what Nancy Dampier's husband was like. And the old woman had acknowledged, in answer to a word from him, that her master was not ...
— The End of Her Honeymoon • Marie Belloc Lowndes

... it. And no one ever measured the sacred values of humanity as He measured them. And now, in the perfect mercy of God, there is no man but may dwell in the house of God alway and feel life's sacredness amidst a thousand desecrations, and know its preciousness amidst all that seeks to obscure, ...
— The Threshold Grace • Percy C. Ainsworth

... I before remarked, my good fellow," the voice was saying, "I am not a disciple of the semi-obscure. If a man has a thought which is worth declaring, let him declare it with a free and noble utterance—don't let him wrap it up in multifarious parcels of dreary verbosity! There's too much of that kind of thing going on nowadays—in England, at least. ...
— Thelma • Marie Corelli

... of a man who praises his neighbor without stint, with a calm consciousness that he himself is out of reach of comparison in the possessions or qualities which he is admiring in the other. Clement was right in his obscure perception of Mr. Bradshaw's feeling while he was making his phrases. That gentleman was, in another moment, to have the tingling delight of showing the grand creature he had just begun to tame. He was going ...
— The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (The Physician and Poet not the Jurist)

... eyes and gleaming teeth, smoke their hookahs and converse in low tones, as if planning some wicked deed.... To say that Tartarin walked through this fearsome township unmoved would be to lie. He was on the contrary moved a good deal, and in those obscure alleys where his large stomach took up almost the entire width, the brave fellow advanced with the greatest caution, his eyes alert, his finger on the trigger of his revolver, just as he used to be at Tarascon on his way to the club. At any moment he expected to be jumped on from ...
— Tartarin de Tarascon • Alphonse Daudet

... was obscure—that the play of the Lady's Kerchief was a cover for matter more serious. Those who had taken part in it had scarcely deigned to pretend. Colonel John had been duller than the dullest if he had not seen in the white shreds for which the men had scrambled, ...
— The Wild Geese • Stanley John Weyman

... tenderness amounting to acute sensibility, for dumb animals, and to have dreaded killing a fly more than many a man who could not, like him, be brought to kill a fellow-being His mental acquirements, though remarkable for an unaided man of obscure origin, would not probably have attracted wide attention, had it not been for the notoriety caused by the detection of his crime. How many fair girls have shed tears over 'his ill-starred love' and melancholy fate, who little dreamed that ...
— Continental Monthly, Vol. I, No. VI, June, 1862 - Devoted To Literature and National Policy • Various

... to the Romans the most profound work in existence; and I hardly believe that the writings of the old Stoics, now lost, could have been deeper. Undoubtedly it is, and must be, very obscure to ordinary readers; but some of the difficulty is accidental, arising from the form in which the Epistle appears. If we could now arrange this work in the way in which we may be sure St. Paul would himself do, were he now ...
— Specimens of the Table Talk of S.T.Coleridge • Coleridge

... families—a house all to myself—things beautiful wherever I turn—and absolutely nothing to do for it all! I should have been hard put to it to defend myself. In those days I was feelingly reminded, hour by hour, with what a struggle the obscure multitudes manage to keep alive. Nobody knows better than I do quam parvo liceat producere vitam. I have hungered in the streets; I have laid my head in the poorest shelter; I know what it is ...
— The Private Papers of Henry Ryecroft • George Gissing

... not satisfied with metaphor. "We affirm that in all men is this majestic perception and command; that it is the presence of the eternal in each perishing man; that it distances and degrades all statements of whatever saints, heroes, poets, as obscure and confused stammerings before its silent revelation. They report the truth. It is the truth." In this last extract we have Emerson actually affirming that his dogma of the Moral Law is Absolute Truth. He thinks it not merely ...
— Emerson and Other Essays • John Jay Chapman

... enough the first use of this word which has been found is in one of Sterne's letters, written in 1740 to the lady who subsequently became his wife. (Letters, p.25). But these letters were not published till 1775, long after the word was in common use. An obscure Yorkshire clergyman can not be ...
— Laurence Sterne in Germany • Harvey Waterman Thayer

... sights, with sounds, with smells, too, by Jove!—breathe dead hippo, so to speak, and not be contaminated. And there, don't you see? Your strength comes in, the faith in your ability for the digging of unostentatious holes to bury the stuff in—your power of devotion, not to yourself, but to an obscure, back-breaking business. And that's difficult enough. Mind, I am not trying to excuse or even explain—I am trying to account to myself for—for—Mr. Kurtz—for the shade of Mr. Kurtz. This initiated wraith from the back of Nowhere honoured me with its amazing confidence ...
— Heart of Darkness • Joseph Conrad

... Hugo took his companion by the arm, and walked for a little way down the street, then summoned a hansom from the door of a public-house, and gave an address which Dino did not hear. They drove for some distance. Dino thought that his new friend's lodgings were situated in a rather obscure quarter of London; but he made no remark in words, for he knew his own ignorance of the world, and he had never been in England before. Hugo's lodgings appeared to be on the second-floor of a gloomy-looking house, of which the ground-floor was occupied by a public ...
— Under False Pretences - A Novel • Adeline Sergeant

... obscure. At his admission she had shivered, as though it had reached her in the form of an actually threatened violence, and then she was rigid. "I knew that, all the while." Her voice was low, with a pause between the words. ...
— Cytherea • Joseph Hergesheimer

... attempt to move; an obscure reluctance restrained him. If any thought emerged from the tumult of his sensations, it was that he must let her go if she wished it. He had spoken last night of his rights: what were they? At the last issue, he and she were two separate beings, not made ...
— The Greater Inclination • Edith Wharton

... hold up to shame, send to Coventry; tread under foot, trample under foot; show up, drag through the mire, heap dirt upon; reprehend &c. 932. bring low, put down, snub; take down a peg, take down a peg lower, take down a peg or two. obscure. eclipse, outshine, take the shine out of; throw into the shade, cast into the shade; overshadow; leave in the background, put in the background; push into a corner, put one's nose out of joint; put out, put out of countenance. upset, throw off one's center; ...
— Roget's Thesaurus

... diet, so as to determine its cause and possible remedy. He did not look upon our knowledge of pathology and our skill in diagnosis as being sufficiently advanced or perfect to make him feel but that a treatment for an obscure disease like his own would be pretty much a matter of guess-work. Charles Reade, in his "Man and Wife," shows an intimate knowledge of medical science where he philosophizes on the effects of an irregular life and of ...
— History of Circumcision from the Earliest Times to the Present - Moral and Physical Reasons for its Performance • Peter Charles Remondino

... end of this remarkable achievement, one which for boldness, intrepidity, and skill in expedients has few to rival it in the annals of history, and which, if performed by men of note, instead of by an obscure band of robbers, would have won for them a high ...
— Historical Tales - The Romance of Reality - Volume III • Charles Morris

... position of a wealthy heir to that of a hanger-on, he would not slay any longer. In Petersburg, the society in which he had grown up closed its doors upon him. For the lower ranks of the public service, and the laborious and obscure life they involved, he felt a strong repugnance. All this, it must be remembered, took place in the earliest part of the reign of the Emperor Alexander I[A]. He was obliged, greatly against his will, to return to his father's country house. Dirty, ...
— Liza - "A nest of nobles" • Ivan Sergeevich Turgenev

... shall turn from its sorrow this wavering soul, let this city be besieged; I consent. Let Louis go; I will allow him to strike a few poor soldiers with the blows which he wishes, but dares not, to inflict upon me. Let his anger drown itself in this obscure blood; I agree. But this caprice of glory shall not derange my fixed designs; this city shall not fall yet. It shall not become French forever until two years have past; it shall come into my nets only on the day upon which ...
— Serge Panine • Georges Ohnet

... said the Knight, "connected with this. Be sure the obscure varlet would not have sought thee out for such a purpose of his own motion, but was instigated ...
— The Knight of the Golden Melice - A Historical Romance • John Turvill Adams

... pre-established as the object of desire to all things, so far it appears to be in a certain respect indigent of the things to which it is related. It has therefore, if it be lawful so to speak, an ultimate vestige of indigence, just as on the contrary matter has an ultimate echo of the unindigent, or a most obscure and debile impression of the one. And language indeed appears to be here subverted. For so far as it is the one, it is also unindigent, since the principle has appeared to subsist according to the most unindigent and the one. At the same time, ...
— Introduction to the Philosophy and Writings of Plato • Thomas Taylor

... the capture of the same city, first under kings, then under consuls, and dictators, and decemvirs, and consular tribunes, their wars abroad, their dissensions at home, I have exhibited in five books: matters obscure, as well by reason of their very great antiquity, like objects which from their great distance are scarcely perceptible, as also because in those times the use of letters, the only faithful guardian of the memory of events, was inconsiderable ...
— The History of Rome, Books 01 to 08 • Titus Livius

... rather unprepared for; and if the truth must be told, he was far more perplexed than Fitzgerald. He knew the girl, but he did not know and could not imagine what purpose she had in aiding Fitzgerald to win his wager or luring him out to an obscure village ...
— A Splendid Hazard • Harold MacGrath

... Shi-tai-mu. Numerous traces of small-roomed houses can be seen on this mound and on some of the lower surroundings. The uneven summit is about 300 by 200 feet, and the village seems to have been built in the form of an irregular ellipse, but the ground plan is very obscure. ...
— Eighth Annual Report • Various

... expanded and modified by a much later writer with the purpose of covering up the traces of the early schism between the Pauline and the Petrine sections of the Church. Along with this, Schwegler's work on the "Post-Apostolic Times" deserves mention as clearing up many obscure points relating to the early development of dogma. Finally, the "New Life of Jesus," by Strauss, adopting and utilizing the principal discoveries of Baur and his followers, and combining all into one grand historical ...
— The Unseen World and Other Essays • John Fiske

... influence remains to be noticed, which was in its nature more strictly theological, and limited to the church. When after the return of peace the tercentenary of the Reformation was celebrated in 1817, an obscure theologian at Kiel, named Harms,(747) published a set of theses as supplements to the celebrated theses of Luther, which, by the excitement and controversy unexpectedly occasioned by them, turned attention anew to the study of the reformational and biblical theology, and created a revival of the ...
— History of Free Thought in Reference to The Christian Religion • Adam Storey Farrar

... place in the story. The origin of Gaudin de Sainte-Croix was not known: according to one tale, he was the natural son of a great lord; another account declared that he was the offspring of poor people, but that, disgusted with his obscure birth, he preferred a splendid disgrace, and therefore chose to pass for what he was not. The only certainty is that he was born at Montauban, and in actual rank and position he was captain of the Tracy regiment. At the time when ...
— CELEBRATED CRIMES, COMPLETE - THE MARQUISE DE BRINVILLIERS • ALEXANDRE DUMAS, PERE

... times is so obscure, the monuments which convey it down to us so contrary to each other, and the systems of the moderns(955) upon that matter so different, that it is difficult to lay down any opinion about it, as certain and incontestable. But where certainty is not to be had, I suppose a reasonable person ...
— The Ancient History of the Egyptians, Carthaginians, Assyrians, • Charles Rollin

... horizon. The exegesis of the vision has been various, some thinking that it means a Military Despot—though in that case the force of cavalry would seem to be inadequate,—and others the Pony Express. If it had been one rider on two horses, the application would have been more general and less obscure. In fact, the old cry of Disunion has lost its terrors, if it ever had any, at the North. The South itself seems to have become alarmed at its own scarecrow, and speakers there are beginning to assure their hearers that the election of Mr. Lincoln ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. VI.,October, 1860.—No. XXXVI. - A Magazine Of Literature, Art, And Politics • Various

... dales, savannas, and vast cane-meadows, and watered by innumerable rivulets and brooks. During the day the horses were excessively tormented by flies of several kinds, and the numbers of which were almost incredible. They formed, around the caravan, a vast cloud, so thick as to obscure every distant object. The heads, necks, and shoulders of the leading horses were continually covered with blood, the consequence of the attacks of these tormenting insects. Some of them were horse-flies, as large as humble-bees; and others were different ...
— Travels in North America, From Modern Writers • William Bingley

... of my brother lurking gloomily yet observantly in obscure corners, ready at any moment for a sortie in my defence; but when I sneaked, sidled, and slid into the ballroom, making myself as small as possible that I might pass unobserved in spite of my sensational redness, I had a surprise. Near the door stood the chauffeur in evening dress, ...
— The Motor Maid • Alice Muriel Williamson and Charles Norris Williamson

... indeed insists upon it, knows that they have no independent importance, that they derive all their potency and value from the inner reality which they were fashioned to represent and embody, but which they often misrepresent and obscure. He therefore never confuses the life with the clothing, and well understands how often the clothing has to be sacrificed for the sake of the life. Thus, while the utility of clothes has to be recognised to the full, it ...
— Sartor Resartus, and On Heroes, Hero-Worship, and the Heroic in History • Thomas Carlyle

... of caution the four nobles had gradually retreated to an obscure recess, half concealed by some heavy drapery; and Bassompierre, in an attitude of easy indifference, stood leaning against the tapestried panels that divided the sumptuous apartment which they occupied from ...
— The Life of Marie de Medicis, Vol. 3 (of 3) • Julia Pardoe

... adventurer, traveller, statesman. I have been lover, husband, father—poor and opulent; obscure and conspicuous. There are few sensations of our nature, or circumstances of our life, which I have not undergone. Alternately suffering to the verge of ruin, and enjoying like an epicurean deity: I have been steeped in poverty to ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, No. CCCXXXII. - June, 1843.,Vol. LIII. • Various

... only the vessels of our friends coming to trade with us, but our own also. They have carried them off under pretence of legal adjudication; but not daring to approach a court of justice, they have plundered and sunk them by the way, or in obscure places where no evidence could arise against them, maltreated the crews, and abandoned them in boats in the open sea, or on desert shores without food or covering." In view of these things, the President recommended the building ...
— Beacon Lights of History, Volume XI • John Lord

... 1830, which placed Louis Philippe of Orleans on the throne, and sent Charles X. to end his days in an obscure corner of Germany, was the first of four revolutions which I have lived to witness; and since then I have often thought of a lady who, during the next political catastrophe, by which Louis Philippe ...
— Records of a Girlhood • Frances Anne Kemble

... gond I should have something to say had not a diversion occurred which relegated that lively and elusive creature to an obscure place in the background. We had finished the beat, and most of us had emerged from the swamp to higher ground where an open space, or maidan, corresponding to a drive in an English preserve, but on the grand scale, divided it from the jungle—all our thoughts being set upon lunch—when ...
— Roving East and Roving West • E.V. Lucas

... neither in embarrassment nor in pride. Many readers there must be who would like nothing better than to dip into chapters from just such a life as mine. Witness how Edward FitzGerald, half author of the "Rubaiyat," sighed to read more lives of obscure persons, and that Arthur Christopher Benson, from his "College Window," repeats ...
— If You Don't Write Fiction • Charles Phelps Cushing

... entertainment, the haying field, and the factory had not been attained without some corresponding loss. Close upon the heels of the reform in the domestic and social habits of the people there was spawned a monstrous brood of obscure tippling-shops—a nuisance, at least in New England, till then unknown. From the beginning wise and effective license laws had interdicted all dram-shops; even the taverner might sell spirits only to his transient guests, not ...
— A History of American Christianity • Leonard Woolsey Bacon

... out his language to a gigantic sublimity, corresponding to the vast dimensions of his personages. Hence he abounds in harsh compounds and over-strained epithets, and the lyrical parts of his pieces are often, from their involved construction, extremely obscure. In the singular strangeness of his images and expressions he resembles Dante and Shakspeare. Yet in these images there is no want of that terrific grace which almost all the writers of antiquity commend ...
— Lectures on Dramatic Art and Literature • August Wilhelm Schlegel

... of the "Liberty Party" in the United States, is now conducted by one who requires not a notice from such an obscure source—we mean Frederick Douglass, of Rochester, N.Y. His history is well known—it was written by more faithful hands than ours—it was written by himself. It stands enrolled on the reminiscences of Germany, and France, and in full length oil, in the academy of arts, and ...
— The Condition, Elevation, Emigration, and Destiny of the Colored People of the United States • Martin R. Delany

... remain obscure long," remarked Burns, "if he has brains enough to turn the navy department topsy-turvy ...
— The Ocean Wireless Boys And The Naval Code • John Henry Goldfrap, AKA Captain Wilbur Lawton

... as you say," agreed the Doctor. "In that case, my dear Dick, come back to me after you have become acquainted with all the facts, and we will discuss the matter together. That you may call me your friend goes without saying, as you ought to know by this time; and although I am only an obscure East-End practitioner I am not wholly without friends able and willing to do me, or any friend of mine, a good turn, if necessary. So come back here when you have threshed out the matter, and we will see what—if anything—can ...
— The Adventures of Dick Maitland - A Tale of Unknown Africa • Harry Collingwood

... most pretensions in this topsy-turvy of a world regard it as a disgrace to have been obscure and ignorant, and pride themselves upon their persistence in their own kind of obscurity and ignorance! No wonder the few strong men do about as they please with such a race of nincompoopery. If they didn't grow old and tired, what ...
— The Deluge • David Graham Phillips

... archives of Borgo San Sepolcro,[1] not only gives the name of the generous friend of Francis, and many picturesque details, but it fixes with precision a date all the more important because it occurs in the most obscure period of the Saint's life. It was on May 8, 1213, that Orlando dei Catani, Count of Chiusi in Casentino, gave the ...
— Life of St. Francis of Assisi • Paul Sabatier

... the Platirs, the Tablantes, the Olivantes and Tirantes, the Phoebuses and Belianises, with the whole herd of famous knights-errant of days gone by, performing in these in which I live such exploits, marvels, and feats of arms as shall obscure their brightest deeds. Thou dost mark well, faithful and trusty squire, the gloom of this night, its strange silence, the dull confused murmur of those trees, the awful sound of that water in quest of which we came, that seems as though it were precipitating and dashing itself down from ...
— Don Quixote • Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

... spadassin arrived in our midst about this period. He was most anxious to draw a blade for Don Carlos, but he had a decided objection to serve in any capacity but that of command. He did not appreciate the fun of losing the number of his mess as an obscure hero of the rank and file, though he would not mind sacrificing an arm, I do think, at the head of a charging column, provided that he had a showy uniform on, and that the fact of his valour was properly advertised in the despatches. ...
— Romantic Spain - A Record of Personal Experiences (Vol. II) • John Augustus O'Shea

... was being swept along rapidly, now appearing to my eyes somewhat whiter on top, although the surrounding red was so glaringly prominent as to obscure everything else. Suddenly the creature gave a kick and whirled over, turning the white expanse directly toward us. At the same moment De Noyan dropped the point of his rapier against the side of the ...
— Prisoners of Chance - The Story of What Befell Geoffrey Benteen, Borderman, - through His Love for a Lady of France • Randall Parrish

... a sick friend," I ruminated. "And by the way, his case is obscure and curious. I could interest any doctor in ...
— The Bronze Hand - 1897 • Anna Katharine Green (Mrs. Charles Rohlfs)

... manliness. As the King's keen eye had seen from the first, and as Esclairmonde had felt, there was an elevation, tenderness, and refinement in his cast of character, which if left to his natural destiny would have either worn out his life early in the world, or carried him to the obscure shelter of a convent. In the novelty of the secular life, and temptations of all kinds, dread of ridicule, and the flood of excitements which came with reviving health, that very sensitiveness led him astray; and the elevated aims fell with a heavier fall when diverted from ...
— The Caged Lion • Charlotte M. Yonge

... in the eighteenth century to believe absolutely in (their) own slogans about patriotism, purity, and a better system of conducting government."[25] On the other hand they differed as to what these terms meant. The intent was good, the timing was wrong. Pitt, for reasons still somewhat obscure, accepted a peerage and became Lord Chatham and opened the door to cries of corruption and sell-out by the "Great Commoner." More significantly, Chatham was trying to lead a ministry from the House of Lords. He could not bring it off and sank deeper ...
— The Road to Independence: Virginia 1763-1783 • Virginia State Dept. of Education

... mortal is not lived in vain; But lives like thine God grants as shining lights That we in darkness Him aright may see. Nay more, such lives the more by ills beset Do shine the more and better teach His ways. Alas! thou'rt gone that wert so kind to one Obscure—a stranger in a distant land. Accept from him this wreath uncouth of words Which do but half ...
— Tales of Ind - And Other Poems • T. Ramakrishna

... the Abolitionists, who hitherto had refused to make common cause with any other faction, entered the negative coalition of the new party. So did Whigs, and anti-slavery Democrats, as well as other factions then obscure which we should now label ...
— Lincoln • Nathaniel Wright Stephenson

... "Neo-Greek" words are extraordinary in themselves and obscure in their origin, though not through antiquity. In his Student's Pastime, at p. 293, Dr. Skeat says "Nowhere can more ignorant etymologies be found than in works on Botany and 'scientific' subjects. Too often, all the ...
— A Dictionary of Austral English • Edward Morris



Words linked to "Obscure" :   muddy, unclear, isolated, bedim, reduce, hide, change, unknown, modify, unnoticeable, obscureness, incomprehensible, overcloud, confound, unconnected, fog, obscurity, inglorious, obnubilate, alter, veil, hidden, confuse, befog, conceal, unsung



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