dim

adjective
\ˈdim \
dimmer; dimmest

Definition of dim 

(Entry 1 of 4)

1a : emitting or having a limited or insufficient amount of light dim stars a dim lamp a dim hallway

b : dull, lusterless dim colors

c : lacking pronounced, clear-cut, or vigorous quality or character a dim echo of the past

2a : seen indistinctly a dim outline

b : perceived by the senses or mind indistinctly or weakly : faint had only a dim notion of what was going on

c : having little prospect of favorable result or outcome a dim future

d : characterized by an unfavorable, skeptical, or pessimistic attitude usually used in the phrase take a dim view of takes a dim view of human nature

3 : not perceiving clearly and distinctly dim eyes

4 : dim-witted too dim to understand the joke

dim

verb
dimmed; dimming

Definition of dim (Entry 2 of 4)

transitive verb

1 : to make dim or lusterless dimmed their hopes of an early settlement

2 : to reduce the light from dim the headlights

intransitive verb

: to become dim the lights dimmed their beauty had dimmed

dim

noun

Definition of dim (Entry 3 of 4)

1 archaic : dusk, dimness

2 automotive vehicles : low beam

Definition of dim (Entry 4 of 4)

1 dimension

2 diminished

3 diminuendo

4 diminutive

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Other Words from dim

Adjective

dimly adverb
dimmable \ ˈdi-​mə-​bəl \ adjective
dimness noun

Examples of dim in a Sentence

Adjective

Just the dim outline of the building could be seen through the fog. I have a dim memory of your last visit.

Verb

The latest setback has dimmed hopes of an early settlement. Hopes of an early settlement have dimmed.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Today, voice assistants and smart speakers have proven to be popular ways to turn on the radio or dim the lights or get weather information. Rani Molla, Recode, "Voice tech like Alexa and Siri hasn’t found its true calling yet: Inside the voice assistant ‘revolution’," 12 Nov. 2018 As the meal wound down, brief remarks came from Anna Wintour and Diane von Furstenberg while hidden Vespas quietly purred, and the lights went dim. Edward Barsamian, Vogue, "Inside the 2018 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Gala Dinner," 6 Nov. 2018 Intelligence officials from the Obama administration believe the public continues to have a dim understanding of the vastness of the attack in the last election. Benjamin Wofford, Vox, "The midterms are already hacked. You just don’t know it yet.," 25 Oct. 2018 Both designs boast a dimmer switch control and, as a bonus, the Omonic version even comes with a salt candle holder. Taysha Murtaugh, Country Living, "Those Himalayan Salt Lamps Everyone's Obsessed With Now Come in Skull Form," 25 Sep. 2018 Often, dorms can appear dim and dingy, but the wide window between the girls’ beds and the abundant selection cheerful bedding really brightens the room. Katelyn Chef, Teen Vogue, "Mercyhurst University Dorm Decor," 24 Aug. 2018 To accomplish this, the design duo recommends layering light fixtures–sconces and overhead styles—complete with a dimmer. Lucia Tonelli, ELLE Decor, "5 Restaurant Design Trends Making Their Way Into Your Home Now," 17 Aug. 2018 The series frequently relies on shaky camera movements, oppressively dim lighting and a dream-like atmosphere to muddle the timeline, which is at odds with the gritty realism of the script. Kelly Lawler, USA TODAY, "Review: Amy Adams' 'Sharp Objects' needs to be sharper to make its point," 5 July 2018 Both bills were largely seen as partisan measures with dim chances of passage and almost no path forward to becoming law, the latest failure in Congress to reach consensus on the divisive issue. Eliza Fawcett, latimes.com, "House postpones vote on a second immigration bill after voting down first," 21 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The five front-lighting LEDs illuminate the display and can be dimmed in the device's settings. Valentina Palladino, Ars Technica, "Kindle Paperwhite 2018 review: A more premium e-reader at the right price," 7 Nov. 2018 China scotched trade talks with the U.S. that were planned for the coming days, according to people briefed on the matter, further dimming prospects for resolving a trade battle between the world’s two largest economies. Fox News, "China cancels trade talks with US amid escalation in tariff threats," 21 Sep. 2018 Lady Gaga), is now the fourth movie to bear both the title and a plot arc about one star rising while another dims. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper shine in the newest version of A Star Is Born," 14 Sep. 2018 This mirror may look old school Hollywood, but its bluetooth speaker capabilities and touchscreen-adjustable dimming lightbulbs say otherwise. Sophie Wirt, Allure, "9 Vanity Mirrors With Lights to Buy on Amazon if You're Leo Who Loves Looking at Yourself," 8 Aug. 2018 Veterans in military hats from all branches proudly displayed their service and kids tossed balls back and forth and waved glow sticks as the lights dimmed. Kyle Arnold, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Fireworks dazzle as Orlando comes together to celebrate Independence Day," 4 July 2018 After a successful screening in the foyer and a brief Q&A session, audiences requested an encore showing and the lights dimmed again. Brandon Yu, SFChronicle.com, "‘Snaggletooth’ fits right into Westerfeld House’s horror heritage in SF," 3 July 2018 FBI Special Agent David Rodski said the majority of cases happen on red-eye overnight flights of three hours or more where cabin lights are often dimmed or instances involving alcohol consumption. Carson Kessler, Fortune, "In-Flight Sexual Assaults Are Increasing 'At an Alarming Rate'," 21 June 2018 The lights are, at least in my experience, always kind of half dimmed. Albert Williams, Chicago Reader, "The 1980s AIDS epidemic in Chicago revisited in Rebecca Makkai’s new novel, The Great Believers," 14 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Not because our desire for justice dims, but because the chance of achieving it does. Fox News, "Tucker: Brett Kavanaugh and the hypocrisy of the Democratic Party," 18 Sep. 2018 David would drive to JPL's dim, theater-like mission-control room to get started, and Bryn would find things for the kids to do—taking them on late-night bike rides, to diners and all-night bowling alleys. Jacqueline Detwiler, Popular Mechanics, "Inside the Jet Propulsion Laboratory: NASA's Crazy, Kooky, Legendary Research Facility," 3 Nov. 2016 From Earth, the immense stone appears as a dim yellow dot. Fox News, "'Monster' asteroid 4 times than the UK is so close to Earth you can see it - and here's how," 27 June 2018 Our next stop, Golden Paramount, was a different kind of dim-sum experience. Taras Grescoe, New York Times, "The Best Asian Food in North America? Try British Columbia," 4 June 2018 The house lights dim, an engine roars, and stars flame and flicker out. New York Times, "Three Journeys Under the Radar: Trippy, Unsettling and Affectionate," 11 Jan. 2018 The real question is much tougher to answer: If LaBeouf’s instability informs his acting, will damping the one dim the other? Matthew Brookes, Esquire, "Shia LaBeouf Is Ready To Talk About It," 13 Mar. 2018 With hopes for a broad budget agreement dim, Congress is expected to pass yet another short-term stopgap measure despite resistance from Republican deficit hawks and Democrats who want to cut a deal on immigration legislation. The New York Times, New York Times, "Big U.S. Trade Gap Expected, and European Stimulus Plan at Issue," 4 Feb. 2018 Norwegian programmer and YouTuber Bjørn Nyland highlights an experiment in highway lights that auto-dim when nobody's around. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Highway Lights Save Energy by Dimming When No Cars Are Around," 4 Jan. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dim.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of dim

Adjective

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for dim

Adjective

Middle English, from Old English dimm; akin to Old High German timber dark

Verb

see dim entry 1

Noun

see dim entry 1

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Learn More about dim

Dictionary Entries near dim

diluvianism

diluvion

diluvium

dim

DiMaggio

dimble

dim bulb

Statistics for dim

Last Updated

16 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for dim

The first known use of dim was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for dim

dim

verb

English Language Learners Definition of dim

: to make (a light) less bright or to become less bright

: to make (something) less strong or clear or to become less strong or clear

dim

adjective
\ˈdim \
dimmer; dimmest

Kids Definition of dim

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : not bright or distinct : faint a dim light

2 : not seeing or understanding clearly dim eyes He has only a dim awareness of the problem.

Other Words from dim

dimly adverb
dimness noun

dim

verb
dimmed; dimming

Kids Definition of dim (Entry 2 of 2)

: to make or become less bright or clear Please dim the lights. His eyesight dimmed with age.

Medical Definition of dim 

diminished

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Comments on dim

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