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Obscure   /əbskjˈʊr/   Listen
Obscure

adjective
(compar. obscurer; superl. obscurest)
1.
Not clearly understood or expressed.  Synonym: vague.  "An impulse to go off and fight certain obscure battles of his own spirit" , "Their descriptions of human behavior become vague, dull, and unclear" , "Vague...forms of speech...have so long passed for mysteries of science"
2.
Marked by difficulty of style or expression.  Synonym: dark.  "Those who do not appreciate Kafka's work say his style is obscure"
3.
Difficult to find.  Synonym: hidden.  "A hidden cave" , "An obscure retreat"
4.
Not famous or acclaimed.  Synonyms: unknown, unsung.  "Unsung heroes of the war"
5.
Not drawing attention.  Synonym: unnoticeable.  "An obscure flaw"
6.
Remote and separate physically or socially.  Synonyms: apart, isolated.  "Preserved because they inhabited a place apart" , "Tiny isolated villages remote from centers of civilization" , "An obscure village"



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"Obscure" Quotes from Famous Books



... one to make a man quarrel with his food, more especial when there ain't no more going of the rounds; and as for that there claim, well, she's been a good nigger to me; but between you and me, stranger, speaking man to man, now that there ain't any filthy lucre between us to obscure the features of the truth, I ...
— A Tale of Three Lions • H. Rider Haggard

... hard yesterday; but I had so much reading, and so many proofs to correct, that I did not get over the daily task, so am still a little behind, which I shall soon make up. I have got Nap., d—n him, into Italy, where with bad eyes and obscure maps, I have a little difficulty in tracing out his ...
— The Journal of Sir Walter Scott - From the Original Manuscript at Abbotsford • Walter Scott

... before reaching the author of our Latin text," would account for the "confusion of motifs"; and the fact that we have not now that form of the story with which the Hroar-Helgi story came in contact would obscure some of the points of relationship between the two. But the hiding of a dog, whose name is given, in an oak tree of a particular species (ilex) is so definite and unique a point of identification that there is ...
— The Relation of the Hrolfs Saga Kraka and the Bjarkarimur to Beowulf • Oscar Ludvig Olson

... her intellect. And he leads her, too, spellbound by that incomparable verve and intellectual agility of his; she surrenders herself to the illusion of his brilliant assurances, dancing like some triumphant will-o'-the-wisp over the obscure deeps and perplexities of things. In a hundred ways, evil and good, she will remain the pupil of Voltaire. He has his part in her social test of philosophical speculations; he has his part also, be sure of it, in her long devotion to ideals of monarchy expressed ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, v. 13 • Various

... hatred to the Catholics is very obscure. You will find all that is known in Dean Milman's History of Latin Christianity. A simple explanation may be found in the fact that the Catholics considered the Arians, and did not conceal their ...
— The Roman and the Teuton - A Series of Lectures delivered before the University of Cambridge • Charles Kingsley

... curious revolutions in literary history is the sudden bull's-eye light cast by M. Longnon on the obscure existence of Francois Villon[6]. His book is not remarkable merely as a chapter of biography exhumed after four centuries. To readers of the poet it will recall, with a flavour of satire, that characteristic passage in which he bequeaths ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 3 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... made him infinitely interesting. The slight satire that was ordinarily wont to twist his smile was smoothed away, and a certain sadness stole into its place; his green eyes lost their keenness of observation and looked into a space obscure to others. In these rare moments he was essentially of his race and ...
— Max • Katherine Cecil Thurston

... of things among the Jews, Jesus appeared. His parentage was obscure; his condition poor; his education null; his natural endowments great; his life correct and innocent: he was meek, benevolent, patient, firm, disinterested, and of the ...
— Memoir, Correspondence, And Miscellanies, From The Papers Of Thomas Jefferson - Volume I • Thomas Jefferson

... in making circuits round in the woods to avoid parties of the enemy, who were seasonably discovered by the wary guide to be still at work, in several places, in trying to improve some of the worst portions of the road, the progress of our heroine was slow and obscure. And it was not till after a dreary and fatiguing ride of several hours, that she and her attendant began to emerge into the more open country ...
— The Rangers - [Subtitle: The Tory's Daughter] • D. P. Thompson

... that so mysteriously burned on top of it, or in the pungently aromatic smoke which exhaled from the kindled weed. The figure, after a few doubtful attempts, at length blew forth a volley of smoke extending all the way from the obscure corner into the bar of sunshine. There it eddied and melted away among the motes of dust. It seemed a convulsive effort, for the two or three next whiffs were fainter, although the coal still glowed and threw a gleam over the scarecrow's visage. The old witch clapped ...
— Short Stories of Various Types • Various

... obscure sounds should be omitted the first year. Unphonetic words should be taught as sight words: as: one, many, ...
— How to Teach Phonics • Lida M. Williams

... expected many Favours and Immunities; wherein, however, they were miserably disappointed: Which, with a Train of other Hardships and antiparental Severities, (particularly his alienating, at one Stroke, six of the best Counties in the Kingdom, on the procured Testimony of an obscure wretched Individual, one Teige Lenane,) is too sufficient and too lasting a Proof of: Heu! tot Conquesta Annorum, hauserit una Dies! The Possession of at least twenty Centuries, of the great and good, the ...
— An Essay on the Antient and Modern State of Ireland • Henry Brooke

... "Contrivance"; and for him contrivance is most certain where production is most obscure. He points out the physiological advantage of the valvulae conniventes to man, and the advantage for teleology of the fact that they cannot have been formed by "action and pressure." What is not due to pressure may be attributed to design, and when a "mechanical" process more ...
— Evolution in Modern Thought • Ernst Haeckel

... will become more positive and far-reaching. This can be done without surrendering the general principle of individual freedom. It will not reduce but increase the number of natural love-marriages. The errors of crude and superficial or overenthusiastic eugenists should not obscure the enormous possibilities of the science for the human race. Eugenic knowledge is, therefore, not only a personal ...
— How to Live - Rules for Healthful Living Based on Modern Science • Irving Fisher and Eugene Fisk

... where Christendom was at its most acute activity in the struggle against Asia, then in the north-west, in England and in France. And indeed, in one form or another, throughout all the old limits of the Empire. It died, its fossil was preserved in one or two small and obscure communities, its ancient rules and form were captured by the English squires and merchants, and it was maintained, a curious but vigorous survival, in this country. When the Revolution in 1789 began the revival of democracy in the great nations the old representative scheme of the French, ...
— On Something • H. Belloc

... but it is only occasionally that we are allowed glimpses of it now, and we must go usually among unknown people, and read unpopular or comparatively obscure publications if we seek a wider range of vision. In December, 1914, Mrs. Jackson, wife of a golf professional, returned from Germany to Clacton-on-Sea. Her husband had been in the employ of the Cologne Golf Club. ...
— The Better Germany in War Time - Being some Facts towards Fellowship • Harold Picton

... neighborhood in which she had been reared, made Tillie feel that in yielding her lips to this man for whom she did not care, and whom, if she could hold out against him, she did not intend to marry, she was desecrating her womanhood. Vague and obscure as her feeling was, it was strong enough ...
— Tillie: A Mennonite Maid - A Story of the Pennsylvania Dutch • Helen Reimensnyder Martin

... age, and whose brother-in-law, Martial de la Roche-Hugon, was a minister, and who himself was under-secretary of State, and about to marry, rumor said, the only daughter of the Baron de Nucingen,—a girl with an illimitable "dot"; seeing, moreover, in the diplomatic body an obscure writer whom he had formerly known translating articles in foreign journals for a newspaper turned dynastic since 1830, also professors now made peers of France,—he felt with anguish that he was left behind on a ...
— A Daughter of Eve • Honore de Balzac

... soul can walk the dusty track Where hangs our flowering under vapours black, And bear to see how these pervade, obscure, Quench recollection of a spacious pure. They take phantasmal forms, divide, convolve, Hard at each other point and gape, Horrible ghosts! in agony dissolve, To reappear with one they drape For criminal, and, Father! shrieking name, Who such ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... to giue any iudiciall approbation or allowance to things mearely vnfrequented, doe I publish, within my booke, this relation of the setting of Corne, but onely because I would not haue our English Husbandman to be ignorant of any skill or obscure faculty which is either proper to his profession, or agreeable with the fertillitie and nature of our clymates, and the rather, since some few yeeres agoe, this (as it then appeared secret) being with much admiration bruted ...
— The English Husbandman • Gervase Markham

... shaken, crumbling, and what was worse, excessively arid. There was as little certainty of salvation as in the heart of that Priest saying Mass at Bolsena; but the miracle came to mankind at large some seventy years before it came to him. It had begun, no doubt, unnoticed in scores of obscure heresies, in hundreds of unnoticed individuals; it became manifest to all the world in the persons of Dominick, of Elizabeth of Hungary, of King Lewis—above all, of Francis of Assisi. As in the hands of the doubting priest, so in the hands of all suffering ...
— Renaissance Fancies and Studies - Being a Sequel to Euphorion • Violet Paget (AKA Vernon Lee)

... and dissatisfied expression. He had spent the afternoon in a whirlwind of energy in which he had done many things. He had explored the moat-house from top to bottom, squeezing his vast bulk into every obscure corner of the rambling old place. He had rowed round the moat in a small boat, scrutinizing the outside wall for footmarks. He had mustered the male servants, and superintended an organized beat of the grounds, the woods, and the neighbouring ...
— The Hand in the Dark • Arthur J. Rees

... a salute in which mock deference could not entirely obscure the respect beneath, and set about on his commissions, while Grant devoted the afternoon to a session with Murdoch and Jones, to neither of whom would he reveal his plans further than to say he was going west "to engage in some development ...
— Dennison Grant - A Novel of To-day • Robert Stead

... solemnly my mind, that I never will, that I never can be your's; nor, if so, any man's upon earth. All vengeance, nevertheless, for the wrongs you have done me, I disclaim. I want but to slide into some obscure corner, to hide myself from you and from every one who once loved me. The desire lately so near my heart, of a reconciliation with my friends, is much abated. They shall not receive me now, if they ...
— Clarissa, Volume 6 (of 9) - The History Of A Young Lady • Samuel Richardson

... was, of course, Lilia's, who was extremely generous, and was quite willing to know anybody so long as she had not to live with them, relations-in-law being on her nerves. She liked nothing better than finding out some obscure and distant connection—there were several of them—and acting the lady bountiful, leaving behind her bewilderment, and too often discontent. Gino wondered how it was that all his people, who had formerly seemed so pleasant, had suddenly become ...
— Where Angels Fear to Tread • E. M. Forster

... of the printer's device.[32] Also in its typical location at the bottom of the title page is found "a curious mark, a sort of hieroglyphic or cypher," which Burton almost always affixed to his books. The significance of this device remains obscure; it "has usually been supposed to represent the three 'R's' in ...
— Seven Minor Epics of the English Renaissance (1596-1624) • Dunstan Gale

... circumstances could, in the eyes of every normal Verity, hardly fail to argue a certain obtrusiveness and absence of good taste. He had heard, moreover, disapproving allusions to the extravagant affection Sir Charles Verity was said to lavish upon this fruit of a somewhat obscure marriage—his only surviving child. But the said family talk, in Tom's case, had gone in at one ear and out at the other—as the talk of the elder generation mostly does, and will, when the younger generation is solidly and wholesomely convinced of the overwhelming importance of its own personal ...
— Deadham Hard • Lucas Malet

... number and character of the emendations in MR. COLLIER'S volume, I have the less hesitation in proposing this one. The language of Shakspeare is, as we know it, for the most part so clear, harmonious, distinct, and forcible, that I think we are justified in considering any obscure, inconsistent, or harsh passage, as having met with some mishap either in hearing, transcribing, or in printing. Some months ago, and certainly before MR. COLLIER'S volume of corrections appeared, ...
— Notes and Queries, Number 194, July 16, 1853 • Various

... other allied fields. Already in 1842 a law had been passed regulating labor in mines. This act was passed in response to the needs shown by the report of a commission which had been appointed in 1840. They made a thorough investigation of the obscure conditions of labor underground, and reported a condition of affairs which was heart-sickening. Children began their life in the coal mines at five, six, or seven years of age. Girls and women worked like boys ...
— An Introduction to the Industrial and Social History of England • Edward Potts Cheyney

... the importance of private recollections. The gossip of one epoch forms part of the history of the next. It is therefore to be deplored that those whose more or less obscure lives run their course in the shadow of some public career are seldom sufficiently aware of the fact at the time to note ...
— Maximilian in Mexico - A Woman's Reminiscences of the French Intervention 1862-1867 • Sara Yorke Stevenson

... "was descended from the Douglasses of Pettendreich" (Laing's Knox, i. 286 n.) Principal Lee has said: "All the accounts of Douglas which I have ever seen in modern books abound with errors. He is represented as having been an obscure Carmelite friar whom the Earl of Argyle chose to employ as his chaplain, and for whom the Archbishop of St Andrews expressed the strongest aversion. He was quite a different man—a man of family undoubtedly, and most probably related to James ...
— The Scottish Reformation - Its Epochs, Episodes, Leaders, and Distinctive Characteristics • Alexander F. Mitchell

... reproduced the grandeur of those ancient nations, and nearly equal their prosperity. And what has become of them? A sad skeleton. What remains of their riches, of their splendour, and of their vast dominions? An obscure recollection; a vain memory. Thus fall empires; thus vanish nations, which have no better guardians than their prosperity. But "we have," will you say, "we have a better guardian—our freedom, our republican institutions; our confederation uniting so many glorious stars into one mighty galaxy—these ...
— Select Speeches of Kossuth • Kossuth

... stern determination to inflict summary justice upon every unnecessary line, I must own to my regret that I have found but little which it was possible to omit without rendering the after narrative obscure, and without injuring whatever of more stirring interest the story, as it opens, may afford to the general ...
— Harold, Complete - The Last Of The Saxon Kings • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... them on hire in the theatre," replied Stingaree at a venture. The pawnbroker's face instantly advised him that his observation was wide of the obscure mark. ...
— Stingaree • E. W. (Ernest William) Hornung

... did not cry out. As he was brought close to the staring eyes, and felt their sinister gaze run over him, it flashed through him for some obscure reason that the monster knew him for what he was, the leader, from the tiny bars on each shoulder of his sea-suit.... He waited for the ...
— Astounding Stories, February, 1931 • Various

... wonderful people, these Romans, as even this obscure corner of Europe can witness," said Lady Mabel, her eyes dwelling on the beautiful colonade, and tracing out the exquisite symmetry of the shafts, and the rich foliage of the ...
— The Actress in High Life - An Episode in Winter Quarters • Sue Petigru Bowen

... Josephus says here that this Ananelus, the new high priest, was "of the stock of the high priests," and since he had been just telling us that he was a priest of an obscure family or character, ch. 2. sect. 4, it is not at all probable that he could so soon say that he was "of the stock of the high priests." However, Josephus here makes a remarkable observation, that this Ananelus ...
— The Antiquities of the Jews • Flavius Josephus

... recognized. Never again might she be thus near to him, alone with him—the normal routine made it wholly improbable.—And at midnight too. For the unaccustomed lateness of the hour undoubtedly added to her ferment, provoking in her obscure and novel hopes and hungers. Hence she blindly and—her action viewed from a certain angle—quite heroically precipitated herself. Heroically, because the odds were hopelessly adverse, her equipment, whether of natural or artificial, being so conspicuously ...
— Deadham Hard • Lucas Malet

... a step at that sound, but instantly recovered himself, and read into an intelligible language many of the otherwise obscure and learned details of the work. As ...
— Aurelian - or, Rome in the Third Century • William Ware

... dewy, clear, starry nights, oppressing our spirit, crushing our pride, by the brilliant evidence of the awful loneliness, of the hopeless obscure insignificance of our globe lost in the splendid revelation of a glittering, soulless universe. I hate such skies. Daylight is friendly to man toiling under a sun which warms his heart; and cloudy soft nights ...
— Chance - A Tale in Two Parts • Joseph Conrad

... must accept the existence of a London in the old obscure period when something very like modern Welsh was the language of the south-eastern part of Britain, and though we know that London was situated on a river which also had a Welsh name, we do not know directly on which side of that river it stood, and have nothing ...
— Memorials of Old London - Volume I • Various

... the supreme moment of his life, in which the scales of his fortunes wavered in the balance. All the long years of preparation, of faithful devotion to obscure duty awaiting the opportunity that might never come—all the success attending the two brief years in which his flag had flown—all the glories of the river fights—on the one side; and on the other, threatening to overbear and wreck all, ...
— Admiral Farragut • A. T. Mahan

... general title of "Rhyncholites;" and in their form and function they resemble the horny, parrot-like beak of the existing Cephalopods. The ink-bag or leathery sac in which the Cuttle-fishes store up the black pigment with which they obscure the water when attacked, owes its preservation to the fact that the colouring-matter which it contains is finely-divided carbon, and therefore nearly indestructible except by heat. Many of these ink-bags have been found in the Lias; and the colouring-matter is sometimes ...
— The Ancient Life History of the Earth • Henry Alleyne Nicholson

... Lord, we may conclude with probability, that the Greek Hymn was originally a loose allegorical Poem, in which Imagination was permitted to take its full career, and sentiment was rendered at once obscure and agreeable, by being screened behind a veil of the ...
— An Essay on the Lyric Poetry of the Ancients • John Ogilvie

... liable to damage unless handled with great care. It is obvious that anything which alters the weight of a single piece in an analytical set will introduce an error in every weighing made in which that piece is used. This source of error is often extremely obscure and difficult to detect. The only safeguard against such errors is to be found in scrupulous care in handling and protection on the part of the analyst, and an equal insistence that if several analysts use the same set of weights, each shall ...
— An Introductory Course of Quantitative Chemical Analysis - With Explanatory Notes • Henry P. Talbot

... Thales, that cold and damp origin seemed doubtful to Scala in the case of a creature so fond of warmth; a fish were perhaps the better comparison, or, when the power of flying was in question, an eagle, or indeed, when the darkness was taken into consideration, a bat or an owl were a less obscure and more apposite parallel, etcetera, etcetera. Here was a great opportunity for Politian. He was not aware, he wrote, that when he had Scala's verses placed before him, there was any question of sturgeon, but ...
— Romola • George Eliot

... "Everything is obscure in the idea of creation, if we think of things which are created and a thing which creates." If we follow the lead of our logical, scientific faculties, then, we shall all be mechanists and materialists. Science can make no ...
— The Breath of Life • John Burroughs

... was really doing during these days was this. These barges and several others which she picked up now and then were filled with ammunition for her guns and fuel for her engines, and she dropped them here and there in obscure creeks and rock-bound bays from Newcastle to the Clyde, where they lay looking like abandoned derelicts, until such times ...
— The World Peril of 1910 • George Griffith

... nutriment only in arithmetical ratio—and that vice and misery, the natural consequences of this order of things, were intended by providence as the counterpoise. I have here no means of procuring so obscure a book, as Rudgard's; but to the best of my recollection, at the time that the Fifth Monarchy enthusiasts created so great a sensation in England, under the Protectorate, and the beginning of Charles the Second's reign, Rudgard, or Rutgard (I am not positive even of the name) wrote ...
— Reminiscences of Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Robert Southey • Joseph Cottle

... grant you that, Dick," said I, making sure that his excitement would obscure the double meaning in the admission. And then I added, sincerely enough: "She has never given me the right to ...
— The Master of Appleby • Francis Lynde

... the little hill-town a last time. Though there had not been sound nor sight of Berthe nor the group around her, during the three days, Peter was different afield, as if he missed a certain personal identification with that obscure Galician settlement where so much had happened. He moved about as if there were something dead inside. His world ...
— Red Fleece • Will Levington Comfort

... in my obscure corner, and watch the progress of events. It is the position that pleases me best, and, I believe, the most favorable one. Everything confirms me in my radicalism; and, without any desire to hasten matters, indeed with surprise to see them rush so like a torrent, I seem to see them all ...
— Memoirs of Margaret Fuller Ossoli, Vol. II • Margaret Fuller Ossoli

... conversation, and which often, even in his busy and preoccupied days, had made him sit on rail fences in young Western towns, in the twilight, in gossip hardly less than fraternal with humorous loafers and obscure fortune-seekers. He had notions, wherever he went, about talking with the natives; he had been assured, and his judgment approved the advice, that in traveling abroad it was an excellent thing to look into the life of the country. M. Nioche was very much of a native and, ...
— The American • Henry James

... is a city of many beauties, and with a reckless prodigality she has done her best to obscure them all. Driven by a vain love of swift traffic, she assails your ear with an incessant din and your eye with the unsightliest railroad that human ingenuity has ever contrived. She has sacrificed the amenity of her streets and ...
— American Sketches - 1908 • Charles Whibley

... kept in his house nearly three years, and begs of his lordship that he will make interest for her removal. Thus it should appear that this unfortunate lady did not sufficiently "remember her safety" in forming this connexion, obscure and humble as it was; for all matrimony had now become offensive to the austerity or the secret ...
— Memoirs of the Court of Queen Elizabeth • Lucy Aikin

... at him with the air of polite interest with which she was wont to receive his obscure sayings; ...
— Happy Pollyooly - The Rich Little Poor Girl • Edgar Jepson

... have made the American people conscious of their interrelationship and their interdependence. They sense a common destiny and a common need of each other. Differences of occupation, geography, race and religion no longer obscure the nation's fundamental unity in ...
— State of the Union Addresses of Franklin D. Roosevelt • Franklin D. Roosevelt

... that covered the first 42 years of his life. His home was afterwards located near the Kiamichi river, seven miles west of Doaksville. He grew to manhood and always lived in an unimproved, sparsely settled timber country in an obscure and inaccessible corner of ...
— The Choctaw Freedmen - and The Story of Oak Hill Industrial Academy • Robert Elliott Flickinger

... cold, nervous night, murmurous with obscure armies on the move, electric with patrols. From across the river, where loomed the darker mass of Peter-Paul, came a hoarse shout.... Underfoot the sidewalk was littered with broken stucco, from the cornice of the Palace where ...
— Ten Days That Shook the World • John Reed

... Frederick William IV. Evidently the idea was ripening, and a near fruition could be anticipated. But neither to minister of state, count, nor prince—to no one among the distinguished of the earth—was the honor given of reviving the female diaconate. It was to a humble pastor of an obscure village church ...
— Deaconesses in Europe - and their Lessons for America • Jane M. Bancroft

... disappears. The Fortune-teller no longer possesses the singleness of mind or purpose necessary to a clear reading of the symbols he or she consults. The amount of the fee is the first consideration, and this alone is sufficient to obscure the mental vision and to bias the judgment. This applies to the very highest and most conscientious of Fortune-tellers—persons really adept at foreseeing the future when no taint of monetary reward intervenes. ...
— Tea-Cup Reading, and the Art of Fortune-Telling by Tea Leaves • 'A Highland Seer'

... is the Temple of Solitary Thought." Lower down the slope lay a green-coated pond—green-coated ponds constitute a frequent spectacle in the gardens of Russian landowners; and, lastly, from the foot of the declivity there stretched a line of mouldy, log-built huts which, for some obscure reason or another, our hero set himself to count. Up to two hundred or more did he count, but nowhere could he perceive a single leaf of vegetation or a single stick of timber. The only thing to greet the eye was the logs of which the huts were constructed. Nevertheless the ...
— Dead Souls • Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol

... and he was restored, and saw every man clearly. Now this must be done for you; and in order to have it done you must go to Christ Himself, not to one of His servants. Make your complaint, tell Him how obscure everything still looks to you, and beg Him to complete your cure He may see fit to try your faith and patience by delaying this completion; but meanwhile you are safe in His presence, and while led by His ...
— Stepping Heavenward • Mrs. E. Prentiss

... confiding. Children of that character if reared by timid and over-fond parents, are deprived of the rough contact with society that is necessary to their development. There are many whom the lack of self-confidence, the lack of ambition, and lack of business energy condemn to an obscure life, when their intellectual capacities would fit them for an influential position. A kind but mistaken system of training confirms the defect, and dooms them to an inefficient life, or a stern system of repression deprives them of all self-confidence and energy. Millions of good ...
— Buchanan's Journal of Man, August 1887 - Volume 1, Number 7 • Various

... figure of one going down the steps following her, resembling Architecture, showing a scheme or model for building of the City, held in the right hand, and the left holding a square and compasses. Behind these two stands another figure, more obscure, holding up an hat, denoting Liberty. Next behind the king is the Duke of York, holding a garland, ready to crown the rising City, and a sword lifted up in the other hand to defend her. Behind this a third figure, with an earl's coronet on his head. A fourth figure behind all, ...
— Old and New London - Volume I • Walter Thornbury

... "the eye beams its sun-splendour," or, "beams like a sun." For the construction that the Translator has put upon the original (which is extremely obscure) in the preceding lines of the stanza, he is indebted to Mr Carlyle. The general meaning of the Poet is, that Love rules all things in the inanimate or animate creation; that, even in the moral world, opposite emotions or principles meet and embrace each other. The idea is pushed into an extravagance ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Vol. 53, No. 331, May, 1843 • Various

... paragraphing is often lost sight of by even experienced writers. Sometimes there is an absence of clear, definite thought. Hence it happens that we frequently find whole pages without any break to indicate the transitions of thought. Such writing is apt to leave a confused or obscure impression. ...
— Elementary Guide to Literary Criticism • F. V. N. Painter

... individuality like Caesar's. More often her profounder movements proceed from impulses whose origin and motives cannot be traced, although a succession of steps may be discerned and their results stated. A few names, for instance, emerge amid the obscure movements of the peoples which precipitated the outer peoples upon the Roman Empire, but, with rare exceptions, they are simply exponents, pushed forward and upward by the torrent; at the utmost guides, not controllers, of those whom they represent ...
— The Interest of America in Sea Power, Present and Future • A. T. Mahan

... issue were not at all obscure. Any apparent obscurity was caused by the terms of reference to the Commission, which assumed the permanence of the Union, while it was absolutely impossible for the Commission, divided though its members ...
— The Framework of Home Rule • Erskine Childers

... between the pines; for an instant he did not reply. Suddenly Sperry's face loomed before him and as instantly vanished, only to appear again as certain excuses hitherto explainable became for the first time obscure and suggestive. Then the words of Alice's song rang in his ears and a thrill ...
— The Lady of Big Shanty • Frank Berkeley Smith

... a young man of obscure birth—wholly uneducated, and, generally speaking, a savage, though a harmless one," said the lady, returning to the charge. "Now, Redbud, you cannot fail to perceive that it is impossible for you to marry an Indian whom nobody knows anything ...
— The Last of the Foresters • John Esten Cooke

... understand the obscure lines of the original, Cellini wanted to kill two birds with one stone by this epigram—both Bernardone and his son Baccio. But by Buaccio ...
— The Autobiography of Benvenuto Cellini • Benvenuto Cellini

... droughts; seasonal August winds blow from the west, carrying sand and dust across the country, which can obscure visibility ...
— The 2007 CIA World Factbook • United States

... and the second line is rather obscure, but we should not measure by too high a standard the untutored utterances of artless nature. The opening lines of ...
— Reviews • Oscar Wilde

... the building; sometimes feeling her way in obscure places; sometimes calling to Lord Harry cautiously by his name. No living creature appeared; no sound of a movement disturbed the stillness of the night. The discovery of his absence, which she had ...
— Blind Love • Wilkie Collins

... be found. No sign of violence will be discovered anywhere upon the body. Sudden heart failure—that will be apparent. The cause obscure. Organs seemingly healthy; no discernible disease. Muscular failure. Death from natural causes. A case interesting to the medical world, perhaps, but with no suggestion of foul play about it. Now let me ...
— The Master Detective - Being Some Further Investigations of Christopher Quarles • Percy James Brebner

... obscure philosophy it is which teaches that Moses and Mohamed had some thing to do with politics and Christ ...
— The Agony of the Church (1917) • Nikolaj Velimirovic

... within him a secret fanaticism that was very old, a fatalism, obscure, and cruel, and strange, a lack of scruple that would have revolted almost any Englishman who could have understood it, an occasional childishness, rather Egyptian than Turco-Egyptian, and a quick and instinctive subtlety that came from no ...
— Bella Donna - A Novel • Robert Hichens

... quiet in Chinatown, for the time was noon and the section was pursuing its midday habit of calm. The padding figures were becoming a trifle obscure, owing to a cold, pale fog that was drifting up from the bay. In a moment the woman reappeared, examined the street again with hostile eyes, held up a square of rice paper, ...
— Peter the Brazen - A Mystery Story of Modern China • George F. Worts

... ship passes in the night And drags jagged reflections Like gilded combs Through the obscure water. Spun glass daisies float on a ...
— Precipitations • Evelyn Scott

... the earliest meetings of the club were held at an obscure tavern in Shire Lane, which no longer exists, but ran parallel with Chancery Lane near Temple-bar. This was the tavern kept by Christopher Cat, and when he removed to the Fountain tavern in the Strand the club accompanied. Its principle place of meeting, however, was at the mansion of Tonson ...
— Inns and Taverns of Old London • Henry C. Shelley

... portraits, we note an omission, a space that is occupied, not by a likeness but by a medallion, which represents a cherub with the forefinger of his right hand laid as a seal of silence upon the lips. Here-by indeed hangs a tale, obscure perhaps, but pathetic and human to the last degree. We all remember the broad frieze filled with Doges' faces which is carried round the great hall of the ducal palace in Venice, wherein the place assigned to the traitor, Marino Faliero, contains a black veil instead ...
— The Naples Riviera • Herbert M. Vaughan

... country before the Roman Conquest is, as is history everywhere in the West before that event, vague and obscure. But this at least may be said: it was first in the occupation of the Etruscans, who in time were turned out, destroyed, or enslaved by the Gauls, those invaders who crossed the Alps from the west and who during nearly two hundred years, continually, though never with an ...
— Ravenna, A Study • Edward Hutton

... gild with fame Th' obscure, and raise the humble name; To make the form elude the grave, ...
— Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions - Vol. I • Charles Mackay

... eyes and looked earnestly at the speaker. She had learned in the brief time that had elapsed since this black sorrow had come upon him to understand what it was in the character of Monte Irvin which had attracted Rita. It afforded an illustration of that obscure law governing the magnetism which subsists between diverse natures. For not all the agony of mind which he suffered could hide or mar the cleanness and honesty of purpose which were Monte Irvin's ...
— Dope • Sax Rohmer

... pronunciation, grammar, prosody, explanation of obscure terms, religious rites, astronomy. These are considered appendants of the Vedas. The word angas ...
— Hindu Law and Judicature - from the Dharma-Sastra of Yajnavalkya • Yajnavalkya

... acquainted with him, and have brought him twice to my Lord's to dinner. He looks very simple. He telleth me that one Borrheus, that hath written well upon Aristot. priorum, &c., even now is printing goodly commentaries upon Aristotle's Rhetoric. But Sturmius will obscure ...
— Bibliomania; or Book-Madness - A Bibliographical Romance • Thomas Frognall Dibdin

... elephantiasis and which the mosquito takes from man and after a short time gives over to another subject. This discovery attracted world-wide attention and many looked again towards the innumerable species of biting insects that dwell in the Tropic Zone, as possible carriers of the obscure diseases which also ...
— Popular Science Monthly Volume 86

... power were the exact sciences. They progressed too rapidly to be bound and limited by obscure old writings and prejudices; life and realities were their domain. Science brushed aside all sophistry and became a reality. Ethics is too fundamentally important a factor in civilization to depend upon a theological or a legal excuse; ...
— Manhood of Humanity. • Alfred Korzybski

... most total defeat which has ever befallen an English army. Twenty-seven nobles were killed, twenty-two more and sixty knights made prisoners, and the number of obscure soldiers slain, drowned in the Forth, or killed by the peasantry, exceeds calculation. The camp was taken, with an enormous booty in treasure, jewels, rich robes, fine horses, herds of cattle, ...
— Cameos from English History, from Rollo to Edward II • Charlotte Mary Yonge

... a man whom he had observed before, but with little heed, pass and repass him, as he quitted the house of Citizen C—. Instantly and instinctively he knew that he was watched,—that he was pursued. The street he was in was obscure and deserted, for the day was oppressively sultry, and it was the hour when few were abroad, either on business or pleasure. Bold as he was, an icy chill shot through his heart, he knew too well the tremendous system that then reigned in Paris not to be aware of his danger. As the sight of ...
— Zanoni • Edward Bulwer Lytton

... hitherto never been above ten from home, filled us with apprehension, and the cries of the poor, who followed us for some miles, contributed to encrease it. The first day's journey brought us in safety within thirty miles of our future retreat, and we put up for the night at an obscure inn in a village by the way. When we were shewn a room, I desired the landlord, in my usual way, to let us have his company, with which he complied, as what he drank would encrease the bill next morning. He knew, however, the whole neighbourhood to which I was removing, particularly ...
— The Vicar of Wakefield • Oliver Goldsmith

... 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 ...
— The Calling Of Dan Matthews • Harold Bell Wright

... Henderson, who comes from some obscure district far North even of this, is a little difficult to understand. I ...
— Punch or the London Charivari, Vol. 147, October 7, 1914 • Various

... mother brought them into the thickest and most obscure part of the forest, when, stealing away into a by-path, they there left them. Little Thumb was not very uneasy at it, for he thought he could easily find the way again by means of his bread, which he had scattered all along as he came; but he was very ...
— The Blue Fairy Book • Various

... clear eyes called forth in Foma a feeling of respect for Shchurov, although he heard it rumoured that this lumber-dealer had gained his wealth not by honest toil and that he was leading an evil life at home, in an obscure village of the forest district; and Ignat had told Foma that when Shchurov was young and was but a poor peasant, he sheltered a convict in the bath-house, in his garden, and that there the convict made counterfeit money for him. Since that time Anany began to grow rich. One day his ...
— Foma Gordyeff - (The Man Who Was Afraid) • Maxim Gorky

... floated—which was less than Hope, Because it lack'd the power of perfect Hope; But which was more and higher than all Hope, Because all other Hope hath lower aim; Even that this name to which her seraph lips Did lend such gentle utterance, this one name In some obscure hereafter, might inwreathe (How lovelier, nobler then!) her life, her love, With my life, love, soul, spirit ...
— The Suppressed Poems of Alfred Lord Tennyson • Alfred Lord Tennyson

... and justify themselves in attempting its destruction?" Among the facts I have noted in my brief life, one is this: That the masses of men do not reason, but feel. A few minds give the cue, and the herd follow; and when passion takes possession of the heart, its fumes obscure the brain, and they can not see the truth. A general impression reiterated in a thousand forms, always affirmed and never denied, fills the mind, and is believed to be the truth. And thus it is with the people. "Are they sincere?" Yes, as sincere ...
— Thirteen Months in the Rebel Army • William G. Stevenson

... his struggle to break free from his captivity, exactly as she had slowly and obstinately found her own way out. All that had been had vanished. Only the good was left. Evil had been burned away and for her now there was no stain upon the earth, no mist to obscure the sun. Her soul was as clear as this September day, and she knew that Rodd was as clear.... Of all that she had left she did not even think, so worthless was it. A career, money, power, influence? With love, the smile of a happy child, a sunbeam dancing into a dark room, a bunch of hedge-row ...
— Mummery - A Tale of Three Idealists • Gilbert Cannan

... relating to the fine arts is 233. The number of its art illustrations is 3,284. Still it has no convenient rooms for its books, pictures, casts. They are highly valuable, but are scattered in different and obscure places. It has a good cabinet of specimens illustrating conchology. Where is the cabinet? A large part of it I have never seen. It is kept in the boxes in which it was sent to the academy. Where is the ...
— The New England Magazine, Volume 1, No. 2, February, 1886. - The Bay State Monthly, Volume 4, No. 2, February, 1886. • Various

... to me. How stupid the world is! There are times when I feel disgusted with everything, myself included! I'm getting old. I'm a failure. I'm losing my time and wasting my life over this ridiculous paper, which will never be anything but an obscure rag. I shall have ...
— Woman on Her Own, False Gods & The Red Robe - Three Plays By Brieux • Eugene Brieux

... this was is more than legend can clearly explain. Whether his sacred majesty was led to execution through this cavity, or whether Charles the Second had it for one of his numerous hiding-places, or returned through it with Nell Gwynn from his exile, are other obscure points debated among the villagers. The truth is that the whole country about Walton is subterrened with strange and winding ways, leading no one knows whither, dug in the days of the monks or knights, from one long-vanished monastery ...
— The Gypsies • Charles G. Leland

... of the inventor of paraffin oil was comparatively obscure. He was born in the Drygate of Glasgow—a street on which the operations of the City Improvement Trust have effected a wonderful transformation—where his father was a working cabinetmaker. After receiving what little schooling his parents were able to afford, ...
— Western Worthies - A Gallery of Biographical and Critical Sketches of West - of Scotland Celebrities • J. Stephen Jeans

... Largs, "of grief," says Buchanan, "for the loss of his army, and of a valiant youth his relation;" and in the ancient Cathedral, his body, previous to its removal to Norway, was interred for a winter. The church and palace belong to the obscure dawn of the national history, and were Norwegian for centuries before ...
— The Cruise of the Betsey • Hugh Miller

... the Pacific coast a normal girl, obscure and lovely, makes a quest for happiness. She passes through three stages—poverty, wealth and service—and works out ...
— The House of Torchy • Sewell Ford

... In his vengeance it was outraged love that he appeased; in liberty it was love which he sought and which delivered him; in study it was love which still illustrated his path. Entering his cell an obscure man, he quitted it a writer, orator, statesman, but perverted—ripe for anything, even ready to sell himself, in order to buy fortune and celebrity. The drama of life had been conceived in his head; he wanted only the stage, and that was being prepared for him by time. During ...
— The Best of the World's Classics, Restricted to Prose, Vol. VII (of X)—Continental Europe I • Various

... the vain observation of dreams, which, from a superstitious credulity, they mistook for salutary warnings from Heaven; those obscure and equivocal answers of oracles, beneath whose veil the spirits of darkness concealed their ignorance; and, by a studied ambiguity, reserved to themselves an evasion or subterfuge, whatever might ...
— The Ancient History of the Egyptians, Carthaginians, Assyrians, • Charles Rollin

... then, instead of continuing to interrogate him, made him a long speech upon the danger there is for an obscure citizen to meddle with public matters. He complicated this exordium by an exposition in which he painted the power and the deeds of the cardinal, that incomparable minister, that conqueror of past ministers, that example ...
— The Three Musketeers • Alexandre Dumas, Pere

... the phenomena of diffraction it is necessary that our source of light should be a physical point, or a fine line; for when a luminous surface is employed, the waves issuing from different points of the surface obscure and neutralize each other. A point of light of high intensity is obtained by admitting the parallel rays of the sun through an aperture in a window-shutter, and concentrating the beam by a lens of short focus. The small solar image at the focus constitutes a suitable point of light. The image ...
— Six Lectures on Light - Delivered In The United States In 1872-1873 • John Tyndall

... still indulge, there was revealed to Effie all the way by which God had led her sister; at the same time there was revealed all that He had permitted her to do for His glory, and at this she was greatly moved. She had only been a little servant-maid, plain and humble and obscure. There was nothing to distinguish her in the eyes of those who saw her from day to day. Yet God had greatly honoured her. He had made her a messenger of grace to one, to two—perhaps to more. When that little, worn-out frame was laid aside, it might be, thought Effie, that the immortal spirit, ...
— Christie Redfern's Troubles • Margaret Robertson

... see the keeper, unless indeed the shadow of the keeper obscures for a moment the light. What the sailor sees is the light; and he thanks, not the keeper, but the power that put the light on that dangerous rock. So the light-keeper tends his light in the dark, and a very lonely and obscure life it is. No one mounts the rock to praise him. The vessels pass in the night with never a word of cheer. But the life of the keeper gets its dignity, not {11} because he shines, but because his light guides other lives; and many a weary ...
— Mornings in the College Chapel - Short Addresses to Young Men on Personal Religion • Francis Greenwood Peabody

... only with those last manifestations of Hellenistic religion which probably formed the background of his philosophy. It is a strange experience, and it shows what queer stuff we humans are made of, to study these obscure congregations, drawn from the proletariate of the Levant, superstitious, charlatan-ridden, and helplessly ignorant, who still believed in Gods begetting children of mortal mothers, who took the 'Word', the 'Spirit', and the 'Divine Wisdom', to be persons called by those names, and turned ...
— Five Stages of Greek Religion • Gilbert Murray

... the going of the five hundred and odd souls that made up the population. In the town itself the excitement grew rather than waned. Men talked themselves into a fever, others took fire, and the epidemic spread like some obscure nervous disease. Nobody slept, everybody drank and hurrahed, and said it was the greatest night in the history of Minook. In the Gold Nugget saloon, crowded to suffocation, Pitcairn organized the new mining district, and named it the Idaho Bar. French Charlie ...
— The Magnetic North • Elizabeth Robins (C. E. Raimond)

... tempest-driven clouds hanging in the sky, momentarily awaiting the transforming violence of a fresh onset. Sometimes continents of pale light are separated by narrow straits of comparative darkness; elsewhere obscure spaces are hemmed in by luminous ...
— The Children's Book of Stars • G.E. Mitton

... the rugs and blankets on the fire-endangered side of the pile of lumber and who were now soaking them with water under Muggles's direction. Now and then, as some part of the burning mass would collapse, a shower of sparks and smoke would obscure Muggles; then he could be seen brushing the live coals from his pajamas, darting here and there, shouting: "More water! More water! Here, on this end! All together now!" fighting his way with hand raised to keep the heat from blistering ...
— The Veiled Lady - and Other Men and Women • F. Hopkinson Smith

... cette sommite elevee qu'etoit situee une montagne qui s'eboula en 1751, avec un fracas si epouvantable, et une poussiere si epaisse et si obscure, que bien de gens crurent que c'etoit la ...
— Theory of the Earth, Volume 2 (of 4) • James Hutton

... satisfy the judicious enquirer; by blending the true geography of above half the superficies of the earth with an endless variety of plausible conjectures, suggested by ingenious speculation; of idle tales, handed down by obscure tradition; or of bold ...
— A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Vol. 15 (of 18) • Robert Kerr

... most part, no great persuasion was needed to turn a simple, imaginative, fatalistic people from a few vague animistic deities to the systematic iconology and the elaborate ritual of the Spanish Church. An obscure Bathala or a dim Malyari was easily superseded by or transformed into a clearly defined Dios, and in the case of any especially tenacious "demon," he could without much difficulty be merged into a Christian saint or devil. There was no organized ...
— The Social Cancer - A Complete English Version of Noli Me Tangere • Jose Rizal

... shall take, Hottest of war-waves, and your corpses consume, The lambent flame, so for you shall that lie 580 To leaving of life [surely] be turned. Ye may not prove that word, which ye just now in wrong Concealed 'neath heaps[1] of sins. Nor may ye hide that fate, Obscure its deepest might." In thought of death they were Of pyre and life's end, and delivered then one 585 Well-skilled in songs (to him the name Judas Was given 'fore kinsmen);—him they gave to the queen, Said of him very wise: "He may truth to thee tell, Fate's secrets reveal, as thou ...
— Elene; Judith; Athelstan, or the Fight at Brunanburh; Byrhtnoth, or the Fight at Maldon; and the Dream of the Rood • Anonymous

... sprung up and Brannan kept aloof from them. They were wild and full of "gall," Brannan was sad and sober. Howard used to write lots of letters then to some girl, Paine said, and go off and post them in obscure letter-boxes outside the gates when he could get leave, but he had quit writing long since, Haney knew, for he watched the new company clerk with jealous eyes. He knew and knew well that Howard was savagely glad ...
— Under Fire • Charles King

... vivid style, but the simple facts were enough for Dick. He read once more of the last hope of the great man, never greater than then, praying in the snow, and his own soul leaped at the sting of example. He was only a boy, obscure, unknown, and the fate of but two rested with him, yet he, too, would persevere, and in the end his triumph also would be complete. He read no further, but closed the book and returned it carefully to his pocket. Then he stared into the fire, which he built ...
— The Last of the Chiefs - A Story of the Great Sioux War • Joseph Altsheler

... wrestling with George Meredith; and she asks me to explain 'Modern Love' to her. I can't make head or tail of it. Nor can she. But when people come to tea she begins to talk about Meredith, and asks them if they don't think him very obscure. And as most people here who come to tea have never heard of him, it keeps up her dignity. All the same, she is a dear old thing—and she put a large case of chocolate in my room before ...
— Lady Connie • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... silky; tail bright orange beneath; markings relatively obscure; size small; skull broad, flattened, and ...
— The Baculum in the Chipmunks of Western North America • John A. White

... I shall not deal with obscure newspapers or obscure men. What a private citizen like Allen G. Thurman may have said in 1861 ...
— The Life, Public Services and Select Speeches of Rutherford B. Hayes • James Quay Howard

... pull it across the pebbles and under the low cliff beneath the overhanging fringe of the wood. In the uncertain light—for there was no moon and since our setting out from the yawl masses of cloud had come up from the south-east to obscure the stars—the wood looked ...
— Ravensdene Court • J. S. (Joseph Smith) Fletcher

... converted to Christianity in his old age, about 360 A.D. The story of his conversion, and the joy which it caused in the Christian community, is told by St. Augustine[188]. He was a deep thinker of the speculative mystical type, but a clumsy and obscure writer, in spite of his rhetorical training. His importance lies in his position as the first Christian Neoplatonist ...
— Christian Mysticism • William Ralph Inge

... of an account of economic development should not obscure the meaning of its details. Increased population, with its horde of incoming aliens, created a demand for standing room, necessitated westward expansion, and made the West more than ever a new country with new problems. The growth of agriculture enlarged a class that ...
— The United States Since The Civil War • Charles Ramsdell Lingley

... feast, vide Daniel, cf. Hdt. Why plural, "the trenches"? Is Xenophon obscure? His obscurity is mostly this: he expects his reader ...
— Cyropaedia - The Education Of Cyrus • Xenophon

... revolt of Philippopolis, which passed into the hands of the Franks. One contemporary writer says that his hands and feet were cut off, and he was thrown into a valley where he died on the third day; but the manner of his death is obscure. King John himself wrote to Pope Innocent III. that he died in prison. His brother Henry ...
— Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 3, Part 1, Slice 2 - "Baconthorpe" to "Bankruptcy" • Various

... Mahaffy with Yancy and Cavendish; they understood that what was obscure and meaningless to them held a tragic significance to these two men. The judge's heavy face, ordinarily battered and debauched, but infinitely good-natured, bore now the markings of deep passion, and the voice that rumbled forth from his capacious chest came ...
— The Prodigal Judge • Vaughan Kester



Words linked to "Obscure" :   inglorious, overshadow, invisible, confound, alter, concealed, reduce, muddy, mystify, blur, inconspicuous, change, obscurity, unconnected, linguistics, conceal, incomprehensible, apart, obliterate, uncomprehensible, befog, unknown, cloud, unclear, efface, modify



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