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

  • n. The principles or practice of obscurants.
  • n. A policy of withholding information from the public.
  • n. A style in art and literature characterized by deliberate vagueness or obliqueness.
  • n. An example or instance of this style.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A state of opposition to human progress or enlightenment.
  • n. Being deliberately obscure or vague.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The system or the principles of the obscurants.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Opposition to the advancement and diffusion of knowledge; a tendency or desire to prevent inquiry or enlightenment; the principles or practices of obscurantists.

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

  • n. a deliberate act intended to make something obscure
  • n. a policy of opposition to enlightenment or the spread of knowledge


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin obscűrans, present participle of obscűro ("cover, darken, obscure") + -ism


  • Instead, our problem is becoming obscurantism, which is a deliberate hiding of the facts by vested interests who know they are injuring us.

    Boing Boing: August 15, 2004 - August 21, 2004 Archives

  • Мракобесие is usually rendered as obscurantism, which isn't always a satisfying translation.

    The St. Petersburg Times

  • Economists strangely seem even more prone to this kind of obscurantism than the rest of the world.

    Insurance versus Charity, Bryan Caplan | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty

  • Cultural relativism undermines the moral certitude of our principal enemy, Catholicism (aka "obscurantism")

    On Thursday, the Legg report will be published along with...

  • The mistake I made was to use the word 'obscurantism' for the common tendency among Orthodox to hold, in my words, that "nothing can be well studied while prescinding from divine revelation."

    Ever ancient, ever new...arguments

  • Sorcery, protection from sorcery, sorcery accusations, and spiritual healing were all relegated to the category of "obscurantism" and forbidden.

    Mozambique: The Politics of Sorcery on the Mueda Plateau

  • The initial imposition of a Bavarian administration soon after Independence, the effort to shed traces of 'obscurantism' and the 'barbarity' of Ottoman rule; the Western bourgeois invasion of local customs and traditions; the long-standing effort to reconcile the Ottoman past with the legacy of Greece as the centre of European civilisation; and the intense conflict between right and left visions of Greek society since the Second World War have all generated tensions about national identity that have often found expression through various treatments of the 'woman question'.

    Arms and the Woman: Just Warriors and Greek Feminist Identity

  • TIME magazine which has published numerous essays exploring the relationship between faith, prayer and healing says that even a couple of decades ago, the scientific community would not have dared to propose a double-blind, controlled study of something as intangible as prayer because the scientific temper is all about trying to ridding yourself of remnants of mysticism and obscurantism which is what many people think faith and prayer is – a lot of mumbo jumbo.

    Does Prayer Heal ?

  • "obscurantism" or "material opacity" which resists the pressure of the creative spirit.

    The Complex Vision

  • However, this nature has been wrapped up in centuries of pain, of obscurantism, of great enigmas and contradictions of our own existence, of divinity and love.

    Global Voices in English » Brazil: Indian writers and poets on the blogosphere


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  • "All of this has occurred with the blessing of government officials. These officials have implemented policies of obscurantism and opposition to reform. Among the Ulema, those who refused to be co-opted or corrupted have been isolated." - letter to King Fahd of Saudi Arabia, Usamah bin Muhammad bin Ladin, 1994.

    December 13, 2007