\ 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

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.
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Was his dim view of Italian elites shaped by that experience? Barton Swaim, WSJ, 19 Aug. 2022 In the nineteen-thirties, many took a dim view of Locke’s Africanism, which was decried as a concession to segregation. Julian Lucas, The New Yorker, 11 Aug. 2022 The Japanese public also took a dim view of his commitment to holding the Tokyo Olympics amid the coronavirus pandemic. Takehiko Kambayashi, The Christian Science Monitor, 8 July 2022 Today, that facility is a dim, burbling room packed with rows of tanks and smelling of seawater. New York Times, 4 Apr. 2022 Pull on your jacket and step into the forests on a dim, misty day. oregonlive, 5 Dec. 2021 If the team can snatch up hope and stomp on dim expectations, some fans have surmised, so too can their beleaguered beautiful hometown. Joe Heim, Washington Post, 30 Aug. 2022 Or to blame them for what seems a dim recommendation, only to criticize them a day later for delays in their next round of recommendations. Kent Sepkowitz, CNN, 17 Aug. 2022 Webb’s infrared imaging also will open a new window on other (relatively) cold, dim astronomical objects. Frank Wilczek, WSJ, 30 July 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb That doesn’t dim the hopes of filmmakers like Sackett, who was encouraged to meet producers and distributors during U.S. in Progress who wanted to hear more about his future plans. Christopher Vourlias, Variety, 12 Sep. 2022 But the brief moment of introspection doesn’t dim Flo Milli’s unflagging ability to exalt herself. ELLE, 11 Aug. 2022 Change the color of each individual bulb, dim them, produce unique effects, and even set the lights to blink to your own music all through the use of a smart phone app. Hannah Jones, Country Living, 25 May 2022 The higher-end Pro phones are expected to have always-on displays, which show key information, such as time and date, but dim the rest to save battery. Joanna Stern, WSJ, 17 Aug. 2022 In the southern province of Sichuan, famous for its rich water resources, the drought and heat wave have forced factories to shut and subways stations to dim the lights in a bid to conserve energy. Jessie Yeung, CNN, 25 Aug. 2022 Most lights using alkaline batteries dim, but the use of lithium batteries pre- vents the typical discharge curve and keeps the lumens in a steady state. Outside Online, 14 Aug. 2020 Supporters of the bill pushed for a pre-recess vote, arguing that its chances dim if Republicans retake the House after November’s midterm elections. Jacob Carpenter, Fortune, 5 Aug. 2022 As economic prospects dim and companies face higher borrowing costs themselves, traders may turn elsewhere for safer investments. Max Zahn, ABC News, 16 June 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Now teaming up with co-writer Oliver Chris (who played James Corden’s dashing-but-dim master in the earlier hit), Bean is back with another revamp of an old play and London’s National Theatre has high hopes. David Benedict, Variety, 15 July 2022 Having the iPhone 14’s always-on display dim and showing the entire wallpaper might not seem efficient for the battery. Joshua Hawkins, BGR, 1 Aug. 2022 As Pippin, who is established as a poor candidate for becoming a soldier or hero, Shannon Chong is every bit as muscular and handsome and fit as the actor (Brad Weatherford) playing his combat-ready dim-bulb of a brother, Lewis. Christopher Arnott, Hartford Courant, 14 July 2022 Other than a handful of oil-exporting nations like Saudi Arabia, which are benefiting from prices above $100 a barrel, there is barely a spot on the globe that has not seen its outlook dim. New York Times, 7 June 2022 Cepheids, or stars that periodically brighten and dim, have long been the gold standard of cosmic mile markers. Julia Musto, Fox News, 20 May 2022 Antique landscape paintings in golden frames hang next to funky potted ferns, giving the restaurant a vintage Mediterranean look that works best in the dim, candlelit lighting of the evening. Andi Berlin, The Arizona Republic, 6 Feb. 2022 The church was nearly dark, and as eyes adjusted to the dim, the interior came slowly into view: a long nave, an old stone roof and a crucifix at the altar in front of a red drape. New York Times, 2 Jan. 2022 This Coen Brothers movie finds Josh Brolin as an old Hollywood fixer investigating a plot that finds a big-time dim-witted movie star played by George Clooney (doing more great work with the Coens) kidnapped and missing. Evan Romano, Men's Health, 9 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

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

21 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Dim.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dim. Accessed 2 Oct. 2022.

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More Definitions for dim


\ 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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