English Thesaurus

Synonyms of 'obscure'

(adjective) 
Definition
not well-known
The hymn was written by an obscure Greek composer.
Synonyms
unknown
He was an unknown writer.
,
minor
a minor poet and wannabe actor
,
little-known
,
humble
He came from a fairly humble, poor background.
,
unfamiliar
She grew many plants that were unfamiliar to me.
,
out-of-the-way
, , ,
unimportant
It was an unimportant job, and paid very little.
,
unheard-of
an unheard-of comic waiting for his big break to come along
, ,
nameless
They had their cases rejected by nameless officials.
, , ,
unnoted
,
unhonoured
,
unrenowned
Opposites
(adjective) 
Definition
not easily understood
The contract is written in obscure language.
Synonyms
abstruse
Meetings keep reverting to discussions about abstruse resolutions.
,
involved
The operation can be quite involved, requiring special procedures.
,
complex
in-depth coverage of today's complex issues
,
confusing
The statement they issued was highly confusing.
,
puzzling
His letter poses a number of puzzling questions.
,
subtle
He is a subtle character, you know.
, ,
deep
a deep, dark secret
, , , ,
mystical
mystic union with God
,
intricate
intricate patterns and motifs
,
ambiguous
His remarks clarify an ambiguous statement given earlier this week.
,
enigmatic
She starred in one of Welles's most enigmatic films.
,
esoteric
She has published several books on pathworking and other esoteric subjects.
,
perplexing
The procedure is perplexing at the best of times.
, ,
opaque
the opaque language of the official report
,
incomprehensible
incomprehensible mathematics puzzles
, ,
cryptic
I wondered just what he meant by that cryptic remark.
, ,
recondite
Her poems are recondite in subject matter.
,
Delphic
,
clear as mud (informal)
Opposites
(adjective) 
Definition
unclear or indistinct
The word is of obscure origin.
Synonyms
unclear
It is unclear how much popular support they have.
,
hidden
Uncover hidden meanings and discover special messages.
,
uncertain
Students all over the country are facing an uncertain future.
, ,
mysterious
He died in mysterious circumstances.
, ,
doubtful
It seemed doubtful that he would move at all.
,
indefinite
a person of indefinite age
,
indeterminate
I hope to carry on for an indeterminate period.
Opposites
(adjective) 
Definition
unclear or indistinct
The hills were just an obscure shape in the mist.
Synonyms
indistinct
The lettering is fuzzy and indistinct.
,
vague
He could just make out a vague shape in the distance.
,
blurred
blurred black and white photographs
,
dark
It was a dark and stormy night.
,
clouded
,
faint
He became aware of the soft, faint sounds of water dripping.
,
dim
His torch picked out the dim figures.
,
gloomy
Inside it's gloomy after all that sunshine.
, ,
murky
Their plane crashed in murky weather.
,
fuzzy
a couple of fuzzy pictures
,
shadowy
I watched him from a shadowy corner.
,
cloudy
The legal position on this issue is very cloudy.
,
misty
The air was cold and misty.
,
hazy
The air was filled with hazy sunshine and frost.
, , ,
dusky
He was walking down the road one dusky evening.
,
undefined
blurry lines and undefined borders
,
out of focus
Some of the pictures are out of focus.
,
ill-defined
staff with ill-defined responsibilities
,
obfuscated
,
indiscernible
The signs were so concealed as to be almost indiscernible.
,
Opposites
, , , , ,
well-defined
(verb) 
Definition
to cover or cloud over
Trees obscured his vision.
Synonyms
obstruct
She positioned herself so as not to obstruct his view.
,
hinder
Landslides are continuing to hinder the arrival of relief supplies.
,
block out
(verb) 
Definition
to make unclear or vague
The building is almost completely obscured by a huge banner.
Synonyms
hide
The compound was hidden by trees and shrubs.
,
cover (up)
,
screen
The road is screened by a block of flats.
,
mask
A thick grey cloud masked the sun.
,
disguise
She made no attempt to disguise her contempt.
,
conceal
The device, concealed in a dustbin, was defused by police.
,
veil
Her hair swept across her face, as if to veil it.
,
cloak
He uses jargon to cloak his inefficiency.
,
shroud
Mist shrouded the outline of the palace.
,
camouflage
This is another clever attempt to camouflage reality.
,
envelop
the thick black cloud of smoke that enveloped the area
,
encase
,
enshroud
the icy chill that enshrouded us
Opposites
(verb) 
Definition
to make unclear or vague
the jargon that frequently obscures legal documents
Synonyms
obfuscate (formal)
They are deliberately obfuscating the issue.
,
confuse
His critics accused him of trying to confuse the issue.
,
cloud
Perhaps anger has clouded his vision.
,
blur
Scientists are trying to blur the distinction between these questions.
,
muddy
It's difficult enough without muddying the issue with religion.
,
darken
A storm darkened the sky.
,
muddy the waters of
, , ,
throw a veil over
,
Opposites

Additional synonyms

in the sense of ambiguous
Definition
having more than one possible interpretation
His remarks clarify an ambiguous statement given earlier this week.
Synonyms
in the sense of blur
Definition
to make or become vague or less distinct
Scientists are trying to blur the distinction between these questions.
Synonyms
make indistinct,
obfuscate (formal),
make vague,
make hazy
in the sense of blurred
blurred black and white photographs
Synonyms
dim,
blurry,
lacking definition

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Thesaurus for obscure from the Collins English Thesaurus
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