\ 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 Sitting alone in a dim room in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Earl flung his arm to the left. Max G. Levy, Wired, 2 Sep. 2021 They were all frozen still in this dim room, hardly lit for all of the silhouettes and shadows cast by the menagerie and the shelves they had been collected on, almost impassible but for a couple of paths. Wyatt Williams, Harper's Magazine, 17 Aug. 2021 Beyond the bar, a spinning disco ball was providing sparkly flashes inside the dim, red-lit room, a dark oasis from the bright afternoon sun outside. Esther Mobley, San Francisco Chronicle, 7 July 2021 In contrast to these idyllic moments, she is also seen at home in a dim room where her mother sleeps, snoring gently, in the background. BostonGlobe.com, 5 May 2021 Jackie hung up and walked over to Mallory Talbott’s daughter, McKenna, who was standing in a playpen in her dim living room. Lizzie Presser, ProPublica, 1 May 2021 Of course, sitting in a dim or dark interior room can be depressing, so consider that, too. John Kennedy, Popular Science, 17 Feb. 2021 Leslie Stephen, Virginia Woolf’s father, was in charge of the Alexander Pope volume and took a dim moral view of his subject. Clare Bucknell, The New York Review of Books, 27 May 2021 Michelle Haselrig takes a dim view of these efforts. Will Hobson, Anchorage Daily News, 30 Sep. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb As life starts to return to normal, the spotlight on climate change shouldn’t dim. Luis D’acosta, Forbes, 6 Oct. 2021 Delaney walked down the hall, past the other bays, most of them containing a human lying on a medbed, the rooms dim but for the bright reflections of the patients’ interiors on the wallscreens. Dave Eggers, Wired, 30 Sep. 2021 But, nothing can dim Ginger's excellence in my eyes or the eyes of the fandom that loves her. Joey Nolfi, EW.com, 31 Aug. 2021 Politicians, including the current government of Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth, have long sought to demonstrate their zeal in pursuing claims against Britain, however dim the prospect for success. BostonGlobe.com, 8 Aug. 2021 While state lawmakers could bring a veto override, activists in North Carolina say what happened in Florida could dim those prospects. Lalee Ibssa, ABC News, 12 Sep. 2021 But even that disgusting date didn't dim Maurissa's shine. Martha Sorren, refinery29.com, 24 Aug. 2021 The stoppage that began shortly after 2 a.m. threatened to keep search teams off the rubble pile for an unknown period and dim hopes for finding anyone alive in the debris a week after the tower came down. Terry Spencer, Anchorage Daily News, 1 July 2021 The device's Alexa controls can turn on your TV, play a show, and even dim the lights. Tess Garcia, PEOPLE.com, 21 June 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Even so, scientists say, the chance to constrain global warming to about 1.5 degrees or at least below 2 degrees is growing dim. BostonGlobe.com, 11 Oct. 2021 Even so, scientists say, the chance to constrain global warming to about 1.5 degrees or at least below 2 degrees is growing dim. New York Times, 10 Oct. 2021 Brightly colored clothing can cast a dim, reflected glow. Sophie Bushwick, Scientific American, 6 Oct. 2021 Replicate this nationally, and the Democrats’ prospects for 2024 and after looking dim. Max B. Sawicky, The New Republic, 30 Aug. 2021 And maybe those fans can help change the small percentage and the small minds of the obtuse, the dim, the dense, and maybe those in positions of power who should, will, in fact, listen to what the man has to say. Gordon Monson, The Salt Lake Tribune, 2 July 2021 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

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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Dictionary Entries Near dim




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Statistics for dim

Last Updated

27 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Dim.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dim. Accessed 28 Oct. 2021.

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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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