Etymology
Advertisement

Words related to obscure

ob- 

word-forming element meaning "toward; against; before; near; across; down," also used as an intensive, from Latin ob (prep.) "in the direction of, in front of, before; toward, to, at, upon, about; in the way of; with regard to, because of," from PIE root *epi, also *opi "near, against" (see epi-).

Advertisement
*(s)keu- 

Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to cover, conceal."

It forms all or part of: chiaroscuro; cunnilingus; custody; cutaneous; cuticle; -cyte; cyto-; hide (v.1) "to conceal;" hide (n.1) "skin of a large animal;" hoard; hose; huddle; hut; kishke; lederhosen; meerschaum; obscure; scum; skewbald; skim; sky.

It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit kostha "enclosing wall," skunati "covers;" Greek kytos "a hollow, vessel," keutho "to cover, to hide," skynia "eyebrows;" Latin cutis "skin," ob-scurus "dark;" Lithuanian kiautas "husk," kūtis "stall;" Armenian ciw "roof;" Russian kishka "gut," literally "sheath;" Old English hyd "a hide, a skin," hydan "to hide, conceal; Old Norse sky "cloud;" Old English sceo "cloud;" Middle High German hode "scrotum;" Old High German scura, German Scheuer "barn;" Welsh cuddio "to hide."

chiaroscuro (n.)
1680s, "disposition of light and dark in a picture," literally "bright-dark," from Italian chiaro "clear, bright" (from Latin clarus; see clear (adj.)) + oscuro (from Latin obscurus; see obscure (adj.)). Related: Chiaroscurist.
obscurant (adj.)

"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.)).

obscuration (n.)

1540s, "act of darkening; state of being made dark," from Latin obscurationem (nominative obscuratio) "a darkening, obscuring," noun of action from past-participle stem of obscurare "to make dark, darken, obscure," from obscurus (see obscure (adj.) ). 

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]