\ 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 Since being elected governor in 2018, DeSantis has attempted to position Florida both as a welcoming place for refugees fleeing dictators and as a state that takes an increasingly dim view of immigrants who don’t enter with a visa. María Luisa Paúl, Washington Post, 24 Sep. 2022 At that distance, the sun is so small and faint that noon on Neptune is similar to a dim twilight on Earth, the news release said. Katie Hunt, CNN, 21 Sep. 2022 Neptune is so far from the sun that noon on the planet is like a dim twilight on Earth, NASA said in the press release. Teddy Grant, ABC News, 21 Sep. 2022 Back at the Virginia megachurch, Clark and the staff stand inside the dim auditorium considering a promo image that is displayed on a glowing screen. Sam Kestenbaum, Rolling Stone, 17 Sep. 2022 La Virgen was bright on a recent Sunday morning, colorfully illuminating the dim white space. Austin Knoblauch, Los Angeles Times, 16 Sep. 2022 The prospects of significantly reducing homelessness for what’s estimated to be a daunting year-round count of 20,000 people remain stubbornly dim. Kevin Fagan, San Francisco Chronicle, 15 Sep. 2022 Many experts predicted the extended observation would be a waste of resources, revealing at best a handful of dim galaxies, but instead the effort was richly rewarded. Jonathan O'callaghan, Scientific American, 14 Sep. 2022 Fisher sought out these distillers, searching through a warren of dim houses on the edge of the city. Ben Okri, The New Yorker, 12 Sep. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Get your boss a little extra help around the office with a mini smart speaker, which comes with Google Assistant built-in and allows the recipient to do everything from dim the lights to check the weather with just the sound of their voice. Corinne Sullivan, Woman's Day, 27 Sep. 2022 Ever since the death of his mother from cancer and his father from a heart attack, Ronnie has struggled with a grief that will not dim. Christine Dolen, Sun Sentinel, 19 Sep. 2022 After a shorter than usual commute from his house on Long Island to his office in northern New Jersey, Mr. Rutkowski, 54, likes to dim the lights a little and enjoy some quiet time working. Katherine Bindley, WSJ, 26 Aug. 2022 Finally, the last step in making a bathroom a full spa oasis is to add candles and dim the lights. Medea Giordano, Wired, 29 Oct. 2021 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 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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Dictionary Entries Near dim




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Statistics for dim

Last Updated

3 Oct 2022

Cite this Entry

“Dim.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dim. Accessed 4 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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