obfuscate

play
verb ob·fus·cate \ˈäb-fə-ˌskāt; äb-ˈfə-ˌskāt, əb-\

Definition of obfuscate

obfuscated

;

obfuscating

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1a :  to throw into shadow :  darkenb :  to make obscure obfuscate the issue officials who … continue to obscure and obfuscate what happened — Mary Carroll

  3. 2 :  confuse obfuscate the reader

  4. intransitive verb
  5. :  to be evasive, unclear, or confusing The suspect often obfuscated during the interrogation.

obfuscation

play \ˌäb-(ˌ)fə-ˈskā-shən\ noun

obfuscatory

play \äb-ˈfə-skə-ˌtȯr-ē, əb-\ adjective

obfuscate was our Word of the Day on 11/17/2016. Hear the podcast!

Examples of obfuscate in a Sentence

  1. Politicians keep obfuscating the issues.

  2. Their explanations only serve to obfuscate and confuse.

Recent Examples of obfuscate from the Web

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

Did You Know?

To obfuscate something means to make it so that it isn't clear or transparent, much like dirty water makes it hard to see to the bottom of a pond. The verb shares its ob- root (meaning "over, completely") with obscure, another word that can refer to the act of concealing something or making it more difficult to see or understand. The rest of obfuscate comes from Latin fuscus, which means "dark brown" and is distantly related to our word dusk.

Origin and Etymology of obfuscate

Late Latin obfuscatus, past participle of obfuscare, from Latin ob- in the way + fuscus dark brown — more at ob-, dusk


OBFUSCATE Defined for English Language Learners

obfuscate

play
verb

Definition of obfuscate for English Language Learners

  • : to make (something) more difficult to understand



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