\ 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 Paired with comedy Farrelly gold behind the camera and Jeff Daniels's equally dim-witted sidekick in front of it, Dumb and Dumber became the lowbrow comedy everyone from the playground to the country club was quoting. Deanna Janes, Harper's BAZAAR, 15 July 2022 Also on hand is an adorable new Minion, Otto, who amazingly proves to be even more dim-witted than his cohorts. Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter, 29 June 2022 Before signing on to play the new Joe Leaphorn in Dark Winds, Zahn McClarnon was winning laughs as a much more dim-witted lawman on Reservation Dogs. Alan Sepinwall, Rolling Stone, 9 June 2022 The dim-witted buffoon of commedia dell’arte, pining for his Columbine but outwitted by Harlequin, became the formula for the classic love triangle in opera and theater. Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times, 25 Nov. 2020 As the large serpent swallows one of the dim-witted hunters, the other stares it down, accepting the grisly fate that’s about to come, when his buddy sets off a sacrificial grenade in the snake’s belly and blows it up. Matt Cohen, The Week, 1 Oct. 2018 The production had taken shape in the previous months, with only his dim awareness. Alice Gregory, The New Yorker, 18 July 2022 Already landlords, schools and municipalities have begun to lower thermostats, ration hot water, close swimming pools, turn off air-conditioners, dim streetlights and exhort the benefits of cold showers. New York Times, 15 July 2022 Twitter’s stock could fall to the $25 to $30 range this week as the chances of a deal being salvaged grow dim, Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives wrote in an investor note on Friday. Tristan Bove, Fortune, 12 July 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Unlike vision, smell, and taste, all of which dim when consciousness shuts down for the night, hearing is a 24/7 operation. John Seabrook, The New Yorker, 1 Aug. 2022 House Republicans have been less receptive to reform, so the chances of bipartisan legislation may dim in 2023. The Editors, National Review, 26 July 2022 The moment drew heated criticism on social media from fans asking why track and field would dim its appeal by not allowing its top athletes to perform. Andrew Greif, Los Angeles Times, 24 July 2022 Seul-bi, played by Seohyun, lives a pampered life, but with stifling restrictions that dim her bright spirit. Joan Macdonald, Forbes, 20 June 2022 The vehicle, 1997 Acura 3.2 TL, had failed to dim its headlights, so the deputy turned around to follow the vehicle and attempted a traffic stop. John Spink, ajc, 30 June 2022 The freak accident didn't dim investor optimism, but Nio's next crisis just might. Grady Mcgregor, Fortune, 30 June 2022 The lights dim and a screen at the front of the room opens to reveal a row of pastry chefs, who put the finishing touches on the desserts before serving guests. Vivian Song, Robb Report, 12 Mar. 2022 Schnittke calls for the lights to slowly dim on this tragicomic ending. San Diego Union-Tribune, 6 Mar. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun 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 The wake/dim will help extend the battery life, as the display panel is typically the largest battery drainer in any laptop when it's not cranked up for maximum performance. Matthew Buzzi, PCMAG, 28 Feb. 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 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

4 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Dim.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dim. Accessed 15 Aug. 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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