ob·​nu·​bi·​late | \ äb-ˈnü-bə-ˌlāt How to pronounce obnubilate (audio) , -ˈnyü- \
obnubilated; obnubilating

Definition of obnubilate

Other Words from obnubilate

obnubilation \ äb-​ˌnü-​bə-​ˈlā-​shən How to pronounce obnubilate (audio) , -​ˌnyü-​ \ noun

The Political History of Obnubilate

The meaning of obnubilate becomes clearer when you know that its ancestors are the Latin terms ob- (meaning "in the way") and nubes ("cloud"). It's a high-flown sounding word, which may be why it often turns up in texts by and about politicians. This has been true for a long time. In fact, when the U.S. Constitution was up for ratification, 18th-century Pennsylvania statesman James Wilson used obnubilate to calm fears that the president would have too much power: "Our first executive magistrate is not obnubilated behind the mysterious obscurity of counsellors…. He is the dignified, but accountable magistrate of a free and great people."

First Known Use of obnubilate

1583, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for obnubilate

Latin obnubilatus, past participle of obnubilare, from ob- in the way + nubilare to be cloudy, from nubilus cloudy, from nubes cloud — more at ob-, nuance

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The first known use of obnubilate was in 1583

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Cite this Entry

“Obnubilate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/obnubilate. Accessed 20 Jan. 2022.

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