\ ˈdim How to pronounce dim (audio) \
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 : dim-witted too dim to understand the joke
4 : not perceiving clearly and distinctly dim eyes


dimmed; dimming

Definition of dim (Entry 2 of 4)

transitive verb

1 : to reduce the light from dim the headlights
2 : to make dim or lusterless dimmed their hopes of an early settlement

intransitive verb

: to become dim the lights dimmed their beauty had dimmed



Definition of dim (Entry 3 of 4)

1 automotive vehicles : low beam
2 archaic : dusk, dimness

Definition of dim (Entry 4 of 4)

1 dimension
2 diminished
3 diminuendo
4 diminutive

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Other Words from dim


dimly adverb
dimmable \ ˈdi-​mə-​bəl How to pronounce dim (audio) \ 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 An influential drug-pricing watchdog group recently took a dim view of aducanumab. BostonGlobe.com, 2 June 2021 Tocqueville, that great champion of association, clearly took a dim view of sports, something Stone himself notes in his report. Cameron Hilditch, National Review, 29 May 2021 Despite her fright there was a heavy undertone of musk: the dim lighting, the sinister yet sensual score, the way the camera lingered on the girl's chest, heaving in a strapless gingham dress. Ew Staff, EW.com, 4 May 2021 The dining room — converted from its former life as a steakhouse with dark-colored walls and dim lighting — has neon lights, walls covered in faux flowers, andsparkly chandeliers. Sarah Blaskovich, Dallas News, 8 Apr. 2021 During her doula vigils, Adams, 38, often creates a soothing space for the dying with soft music and dim lighting. René A. Guzman, ExpressNews.com, 28 Oct. 2020 Nothing says spooky like dim lighting, and these Halloween string lights come with orange-hued bulbs for a classic, warm Halloween look. Madison Durham, USA TODAY, 16 Oct. 2020 Even under the dim courthouse lighting, Hannagan cut a memorable figure. oregonlive, 23 Sep. 2020 But there were ample signs that the I.R.S. would probably take a dim view of the arrangement. New York Times, 1 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Newer conflicts like Iraq and Afghanistan even dim the public’s memories of conflicts like Korea and Vietnam. Carrie Napoleon, chicagotribune.com, 28 May 2021 Any thoughts of October dim with every Castillo misstep. Paul Daugherty, The Enquirer, 24 May 2021 This hiccup, however, does not dim the insight and power of Shepard’s moving portraits of characters who live through, die from or work to stop the pandemic. Los Angeles Times, 14 May 2021 But the smaller crowd surely won’t dim the vibe in the Canal District, which is undergoing transformational growth with the addition of the $159 million stadium. Katie Mcinerney, BostonGlobe.com, 11 May 2021 The lights dim, and Pepe struts on the stage in jaw-droppingly high, shiny red platform boots. Matthew J. Palm, orlandosentinel.com, 17 Mar. 2021 Chief among them was a history of bloodletting at Tribune papers — weakening the product — and dim financial prospects. Meg James, Los Angeles Times, 21 May 2021 The match started with an absolute downpour that could not dim the bright environment. Hayes Gardner, The Courier-Journal, 11 Apr. 2021 Is this just a passing phase that will dim when engineers are back in the office or once again on planes to the factory? Anna-katrina Shedletsky, Forbes, 26 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Talks between the White House and Congress on a possible infrastructure deal have bogged down as hopes for some sort of an agreement dim [NYT]. Bryan Schott, The Salt Lake Tribune, 24 May 2021 The listing only features photos of the building’s brick exterior, but other, pricier units in the co-op look just fine, if not a little dim. Willy Blackmore, Curbed, 11 May 2021 But as the immediate prospects of additional state and local aid from Washington dim, unions and progressive groups are intensifying their campaign for Albany lawmakers to adopt new revenue streams. Jimmy Vielkind, WSJ, 16 Dec. 2020 The claustrophobia of this—of fire turning the entire West Coast dim with smoke, on top of the fear, isolation, and long-term lockdown imposed by the pandemic—is almost too much to bear. Emma Marris, The Atlantic, 10 Sep. 2020 From the 1830s to the 1950s, minstrel shows depicted Black people as subservient, dim-witted, lazy and docile. Richard J. Reddick For Cnn Business Perspectives, CNN, 20 June 2020 Cloaked in dim, ambient lighting, this chain of events recurs throughout the film, though some of his late-night forays, on foot or by bicycle, are actually dreams while others are revealed as cruising. Kristen Yoonsoo Kim, New York Times, 30 Apr. 2020 Then came last season's game, on Feb. 24 at Crisler Center, with MSU’s hopes of a second straight Big Ten title looking dim after a host of injuries. Chris Solari, Detroit Free Press, 5 Jan. 2020 Stocks in Europe and Asia fell broadly as the global prospects for economic growth dim amid trade uncertainty. Paul Davidson, USA TODAY, 1 Oct. 2019

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


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


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 2


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for dim

Adjective, Verb, and Noun

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

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Time Traveler for dim

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for dim

Last Updated

5 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Dim.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dim. Accessed 25 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for dim



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


\ ˈdim How to pronounce dim (audio) \
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


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


More from Merriam-Webster on dim

Nglish: Translation of dim for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of dim for Arabic Speakers


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