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

Definition of obnubilate



  1. transitive verb
  2. :  becloud, obscure


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 and Etymology 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

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