Day: March 25, 2014

Wacky Word Wednesday: Obnubilate

We’re venturing into the world of the truly rare with this week’s wacky word. It’s obnubilate – to make something less visible or clear, or to obscure.

This is one of those smarty-pants words you might use to show off your Latin skills. (And if you need any evidence of that consider the fact that obnubilate made it into famous lexicographer Eugene Ehrlich’s book, The Highly Selective Thesaurus for the Extraordinarily Literate.) It comes from the Latin word nubes, meaning ‘cloud’. It first came into use in English in the mid-16th century.

The definition of obnubilate doesn’t necessarily suggest a negative connotation but, according to World Wide Words, it was a favourite of 19th century literary critics who used it when they felt “a writer had been less than transparently clear in his exposition”. This comment on author Walt Whitman in the Southern Literary Messenger in 1860 is a perfect example.

Read More »
Browse posts by category

Courses starting soon


Nice one! You've added this to your cart