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."
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).