Etymology
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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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feckless (adj.)
1590s, from feck, "effect, value, vigor" (late 15c.), Scottish shortened form of effect (n.), + -less. Popularized by Carlyle, who left its opposite, feckful, in dialectal obscurity. Related: Fecklessly; fecklessness.
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smoke-screen (n.)
1915, as a form of military camouflage, from smoke (n.1) + screen (n.); 1926 in the figurative sense. The association of smoke with "deception, deliberate obscurity" dates back to at least 1560s.
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clearly (adv.)

c. 1300, of vision and speech, "in a clear manner, without obscurity," from clear (adj.) + -ly (2). Meaning "evidently" is from 1560s; as a parenthetical expression in argument, "it is clear," recorded from 1867.

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ambiguity (n.)
c. 1400, "uncertainty, doubt, indecision, hesitation," from Old French ambiguite and directly from Latin ambiguitatem (nominative ambiguitas) "double meaning, equivocalness, double sense," noun of state from ambiguus "having double meaning, doubtful" (see ambiguous). Meaning "obscurity in description" is from early 15c.
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opacity (n.)

1550s, "darkness of meaning, obscurity," from French opacité, from Latin opacitatem (nominative opacitas) "shade, shadiness," from opacus "shaded, dark, opaque," a word of unknown origin. The literal sense "condition of being impervious to light; quality of a body which renders it impervious to rays of light" in English is recorded from 1630s.

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darkness (n.)

Old English deorcnysse "absence of light," from dark (adj.) + -ness. The 10c. Anglo-Saxon treatise on astronomy uses þeostrum for "darkness." Figurative use for "sinfulness, wickedness" is from early 14c. From late 14c. as "obscurity," also "secrecy, concealment," also "blindness," physical, mental, or spiritual.

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reckless (adj.)

Middle English recheles, from Old English receleas "careless, thoughtless, heedless," earlier reccileas, literally "not recking (of consequences)" from *rece, recce "care, heed," from reccan "to care" (see reck (v.)) + -less. The same affixed form is in German ruchlos, Dutch roekeloos "wicked."

The root verb reck (Old English reccan) is passing into obscurity; the range of Middle English spellings might reflect uncertainty even then about it, e.g. rechiles, retcheles, recelease, richeles, regeles, reccles, rakeles

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raid (n.)

early 15c., "mounted military expedition," Scottish and northern English form of rade "a riding, journey," from Old English rad "a riding, ride, expedition, journey; raid," (see road). The word fell into obscurity by 17c., but it was revived by Scott ("The Lay of the Last Minstrel," 1805; "Rob Roy," 1818), with a more extended sense of "attack, foray, hostile or predatory incursion." By 1873 of any sudden or vigorous descent (police raids, etc.). Of air raids by 1908.

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gloom (n.)
1590s, originally Scottish, "a sullen look," probably from gloom (v.) "look sullen or displeased" (late 14c., gloumen), of unknown origin; perhaps from an unrecorded Old English verb or from a Scandinavian source (compare Norwegian dialectal glome "to stare somberly"), or from Middle Low German glum "turbid," Dutch gluren "to leer." Not considered to be related to Old English glom "twilight" (see gloaming).

Sense of "darkness, obscurity" is first recorded 1629 in Milton's poetry; that of "melancholy, dejection, cloudiness or cheerless heaviness of mind" is from 1744; but gloomy with a corresponding sense is attested from 1580s.
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