"that obscures or darkens; that labors to prevent enlightenment," 1804, from French obscurant, from Latin obscurantem (nominative obscurans), present participle of obscurare "to make dark, darken, obscure," from obscurus (see obscure (adj.)).
word-forming element making nouns implying a practice, system, doctrine, etc., from French -isme or directly from Latin -isma, -ismus (source also of Italian, Spanish -ismo, Dutch, German -ismus), from Greek -ismos, noun ending signifying the practice or teaching of a thing, from the stem of verbs in -izein, a verb-forming element denoting the doing of the noun or adjective to which it is attached. For distinction of use, see -ity. The related Greek suffix -isma(t)- affects some forms.