Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To make so confused or opaque as to be difficult to perceive or understand: "A great effort was made . . . to obscure or obfuscate the truth” ( Robert Conquest).
  • transitive v. To render indistinct or dim; darken: The fog obfuscated the shore.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To make dark; overshadow
  • v. To deliberately make more confusing in order to conceal the truth.
  • v. To alter code while preserving its behavior but conceal its structure and intent.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Obfuscated; darkened; obscured.
  • transitive v. To darken; to obscure; to becloud.
  • transitive v. To confuse; to bewilder; to make unclear.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To darken; obscure; becloud; confuse; bewilder; muddle.
  • Darkened; clouded; obscured; muddled.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. make obscure or unclear

Etymologies

Latin obfuscāre, obfuscāt-, to darken : ob-, over; see ob- + fuscāre, to darken (from fuscus, dark).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From the participle stem of (late) Latin obfuscare, from ob- + fuscare ("darken"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • However, let's distract and obfuscate from the glaring flaws of the current administration and revel in the hate for an administration that is no longer in office.

    McCain: CIA secrecy story just beginning

  • And the prize for the most uses of the word obfuscate or derivatives thereof goes to…

    Charles Haynes on the Lebec, CA case - The Panda's Thumb

  • You STILL haven’t stepped up and argued the points, why you obfuscate is beyond me.

    Matthew Yglesias » Revenge of the Public Option

  • When it came to discussing facts, she seemed to obfuscate the issue (Sarah, if you're reading this, don't be embarrassed to look up "obfuscate").

    Lloyd Garver: Sarah Palin: American Idol?

  • I've just highlighted this post on Twitter and in my resource about How to write an Artist's Statement with the suggestion that it's absolutely essential reading anytime an artist feels tempted to "obfuscate"!

    Artist’s Statement Generator

  • Also, good use of the word obfuscate … and the Marxist stuff … but I know what obfuscate means … and I don’t know anything about Marx himay

    Cooperative Blog » Blog Archive » Explaining the credit crisis

  • If you want it can also "obfuscate" the variables which saves bandwith and as side effect make them harder to reuse (not something you'd want as open source developer).

    Planet Apache

  • The word "obfuscate" is a word only the very rich would use and will be taxed.

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  • Your email address will be hidden, but it is still recommended that you "obfuscate" your email address, or simply leave a homepage URL.

    How Now Brownpau

  • So, if indeed we are called to participate, to care for and protect water and climate and all living things as God's will, why then do we obfuscate and deny the research and science affirming positions quoted here?

    Peter Neill: Oceans of Faith

Comments

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  • the thesaurus is pretty mediocre. not even illuminate for an antonym. who's in charge of it? how can we help improve it?

    November 18, 2010

  • "They don't want you to know that, so they obfuscate the debate by fabricating a disinformation campaign."

    From a blog by Rep. Jim McDermott
    The Huffington Post article dated August 12, 2009
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rep-jim-mcdermott/he-neglected-to-tell-you_b_257472.html

    August 13, 2009

  • "And late at night my memory obfuscates my line of sight"
    --Girlyman, "This is Me" (2004)

    March 25, 2008

  • "Mulder, not everything is a labyrinth of dark conspiracy and not everybody is plotting to deceive, inveigle and obfuscate."
    X-files episode "Teliko"

    December 3, 2007