Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

obnubilate

play
verb ob·nu·bi·late \äb-ˈnü-bə-ˌlāt, -ˈnyü-\

Definition of obnubilate

obnubilatedobnubilating

  1. transitive verb
  2. :  becloud, obscure

obnubilation play \-ˌnü-bə-ˈlā-shən, -ˌnyü-\ noun


Did You Know?

The meaning of "obnubilate" becomes clearer when you know that its ancestors are the Latin terms ob- (meaning "in the way") and "nubes" ("cloud"). It's a high-flown sounding word, which may be why it often turns up in texts by and about politicians. In fact, when the U.S. Constitution was up for ratification, 18th-century Pennsylvania statesman James Wilson used it to calm fears that the president would have too much power: "Our first executive magistrate is not obnubilated behind the mysterious obscurity of counsellors. . . . He is the dignified, but accountable magistrate of a free and great people."

Origin of obnubilate

Latin obnubilatus, past participle of obnubilare, from ob- in the way + nubilare to be cloudy, from nubilus cloudy, from nubes cloud — more at ob-, nuance


First Known Use: 1583


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up obnubilate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to defraud especially of money

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image567572573

Which of these is a synonym of unctuous?

angry prompt oily maudlin
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ