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

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 Legislation limiting Trump’s power would face dim prospects in the House. Erik Wasson / Bloomberg, Time, "Senate Approves Symbolic Resolution in Attempt to Curb President Trump's Mounting Tariffs," 11 July 2018 The results simply point to the fact that immigrants are not to blame for deeper structural forces or circumstances that may have led to dim labor market prospects for some workers. James Freeman, WSJ, "Trump and America’s Immigrant Shortage," 17 May 2018 Suddenly, an object with a light that pulsed steadily from bright to dim caught my eye. Liv Boeree, Vox, "Why haven’t we found aliens yet?," 3 July 2018 The spare, tawny walls take on a rich glow under the light of dim chandeliers. Esther Mobley, San Francisco Chronicle, "At Heirloom Cafe, Matt Straus keeps alive the dying art of cellaring wine," 29 May 2018 The low beams are far too dim and sit too low for safety. Scott Sturgis, Philly.com, "2018 Stelvio rounds out the Alfa Romeo lineup," 12 July 2018 Domina Drexler, the heroine, is as dim and unbelievable a person as one is likely to encounter between hard covers. Neil Genzlinger, New York Times, "Anne Tolstoi Wallach, 89, Dies; Her Advertising Novel Caused a Stir," 28 June 2018 So far, Congress has taken a dim view of the proposals. Paul Voosen, Science | AAAS, "NASA’s Bridenstine signals reprieve for endangered climate missions," 6 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The consulate is relocating to the 93-year-old Capitol Hill building, which underwent a major remodel after the Harvard Exit dimmed its lights for good in 2015. Christine Willmsen, The Seattle Times, "Seattle’s Mexican Consulate prepares for move into former Harvard Exit Theater," 25 June 2018 Midtown Phoenix's perennial karaoke spot Kobalt is dimming its spotlight this weekend for one last song and dance before the club closes. Garrett Mitchell, azcentral, "Kobalt nightclub closes Saturday; new Park Central Mall location opens soon," 29 June 2018 Although fears of violence by far-right hooligans proved mostly unfounded during the World Cup, many activists believe such groups will simply reemerge once the global spotlight dims. Ishaan Tharoor, Washington Post, "Russia’s World Cup dream ends, on and off the field," 9 July 2018 Whether these questions about what Jordan knew will dim that political star — or snuff it all together — is still unclear. Jen Kirby, Vox, "Jim Jordan and the Ohio State sexual abuse controversy, explained," 7 July 2018 In any event, the film is still hilarious, though time has dimmed the luster of Lemmon's hamming in favor of James Cagney's superbly psychotic commanding officer. Patrick Friel, Chicago Reader, "Crime / Dance / Film / On Video / Small Screen James Cagney is more than just a tough-guy as FilmStruck's Star of the Week," 3 July 2018 The midday sun ducked behind a rain cloud, dimming the living room into a sort of sepia tone, and Les Williams, feeling restless and a bit bored, pointed the remote at the television and put on football. Jesse Dougherty, chicagotribune.com, "Former Alabama player Les Williams is one of more than 100 suing NCAA over brain injuries," 3 July 2018 While the halo surrounding the tech sector has been dimming, Pew found that Americans still believe that innovations flowing out of Silicon Valley are generally more helpful than hurtful, particularly when thinking about their personal use. Katy Steinmetz, Time, "Americans Believe Tech Companies Are Censoring Political Views, New Poll Finds," 28 June 2018 Soybean prices fell more than 5% to the lowest point in two years Tuesday, as escalating trade tension between the U.S. and China dimmed hopes that U.S. farmers might win a reprieve from duties on the crop set to take effect next month. Benjamin Parkin, WSJ, "Soybean Prices Hit Lowest Point in Two Years as Trade Threats Mount," 19 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 Like the movie’s plot, the kitchen on display — off-white bead board cabinets, Mediterranean tiles — feels dim, dated and, well, sort of suburban. Penelope Green, New York Times, "Kitchens and Their Evolving Personalities," 2 Oct. 2017 At indie music venue Saturn, lights dim for acts like Neko Case, Vince Staples or Kishi Bashi (200 41st St. S, saturnbirmingham.com). Marli Guzzetta, WSJ, "A Truly Delicious Long Weekend in Birmingham, Ala.," 21 Sep. 2017

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

19 Oct 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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