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dim (adj.)

Old English dimm "dark, gloomy, obscure; not clearly seen, indistinct," from Proto-Germanic *dimbaz (source also of Old Norse dimmr, Old Frisian dim, Old High German timber "dark, black, somber"). Not known outside Germanic.

Of eyes, "not seeing clearly," early 13c. Of sound from early 14c.; of light, "not bright, faintly luminous," from early 14c. Modern slang sense of "dull of apprehension, stupid" is from 1892; the sense of "dull-witted" also was in Middle English (mid-13c.). Related: Dimly; dimness.

Origin and meaning of dim

dim (v.)

early 13c., dimmen, of eyes, "become unable to see clearly," perhaps in Old English, from the source of dim (adj.). Sense of "become dim, faint, or obscure, fade" is from early 14c. Transitive sense of "to make dim, faint, or obscure" is from late 14c. Related: Dimmed; dimming.

Origin and meaning of dim

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Definitions of dim from WordNet
1
dim (v.)
switch (a car's headlights) from a higher to a lower beam;
Synonyms: dip
dim (v.)
become dim or lusterless;
dim (v.)
make dim or lusterless;
dim (v.)
make dim by comparison or conceal;
Synonyms: blind
dim (v.)
become vague or indistinct;
Synonyms: blur / slur
2
dim (adj.)
made dim or less bright;
Synonyms: dimmed
dim (adj.)
lacking in light; not bright or harsh;
a dim light beside the bed
Synonyms: subdued
dim (adj.)
lacking clarity or distinctness;
a dim figure in the distance
Synonyms: faint / shadowy / vague / wispy
dim (adj.)
offering little or no hope; "Life in the Aran Islands has always been bleak and difficult"- J.M.Synge;
took a dim view of things
Synonyms: black / bleak
dim (adj.)
slow to learn or understand; lacking intellectual acuity; "although dull at classical learning, at mathematics he was uncommonly quick"- Thackeray;
never met anyone quite so dim
Synonyms: dense / dull / dumb / obtuse / slow
From wordnet.princeton.edu