Etymology
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inconspicuous (adj.)
1620s, "invisible," from Late Latin inconspicuus "not conspicuous," from in- "not, opposite of, without" (see in- (1)) + Latin conspicuus (see conspicuous). Weakened sense of "not readily seen or noticed" developed by 1828. Related: Inconspicuously; inconspicuousness.
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inglorious (adj.)
"with bad fame, dishonorable," 1570s, from in- (1) "not, opposite of" + glorious. Latin ingloriosus meant "without fame, unhonored, inconspicuous, without trophies." The classical sense "without fame, obscure" is attested in the English word from 1590s but is marked "rare" in OED. Related: Ingloriously; ingloriousness.
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obscurity (n.)

late 15c., obscurite, "absence of light, lack of brightness or luster;" 1610s with the meaning "condition of being unknown or inconspicuous;" from obscure (adj.) + -ity; or else from Old French obscurete, a variant of oscureté "darkness, gloom; vagueness, confusion; insignificance" (14c.) and directly from Latin obscuritatem (nominative obscuritas) "darkness, indistinctness, uncertainty," from obscurus. Meaning "quality or condition of not being clearly comprehended" is from late 15c. (Caxton).

When I was asked to talk about the Obscurity of the Modern Poet I was delighted, for I have suffered from this obscurity all my life. But then I realized that I was being asked to talk not about the fact that people don't read poetry, but about the fact that most of them wouldn't understand it if they did .... [Randall Jarrell, "The Obscurity of Poetry," 1953]
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lay (v.)

"to cause to lie or rest," Old English lecgan "to place on the ground (or other surface); place in an orderly fashion," also "put down" (often by striking), from Proto-Germanic *lagojanan (source also of Old Saxon leggian, Old Norse leggja, Old Frisian ledza, Middle Dutch legghan, Dutch leggen, Old High German lecken, German legen, Gothic lagjan "to lay, put, place"), from PIE root *legh- "to lie down, lay." This is the causative form of the ancient Germanic verb that became modern English lie (v.2).

Meaning "have sex with" first recorded 1934, in U.S. slang, probably from sense of "bring forth and deposit" (which was in Old English, as in lay an egg, lay a bet, etc.), perhaps reinforced by to lie with, a phrase frequently met in the Bible. To lay for (someone) "await a chance at revenge" is from late 15c.; lay low "stay inconspicuous" is from 1839; to lay (someone) low "defeat" (late 14c.) preserves the secondary Old English sense.

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