Word of the Week

obnubilate, v.
[‘ trans. To darken, dim, cover, or hide with or as with a cloud; to obscure, render indistinct. Freq. fig.’]
Pronunciation: Brit. /ɒbˈnjuːbᵻleɪt/, U.S. /ɑbˈn(j)ubəˌleɪt/
Forms: 15 obnubilat, 15– obnubilate, 16 obnubulate.
Etymology: < classical Latin obnūbilāt-, past participial stem (compare -ate suffix3) of obnūbilāre to darken, obscure (1st cent. a.d.) < ob- ob- prefix + nūbilāre nubilate v. Compare Middle French, French obnubiler (1330; 1530 as obnubuler), Old French obnubler, obnublir (both 13th cent.). Compare earlier obnubilate adj.
trans. To darken, dim, cover, or hide with or as with a cloud; to obscure, render indistinct. Freq. fig.1583 P. Stubbes Anat. Abuses sig. Gi, As mystes and exhalations..obnubilate and darken the beames of the Sun.
c1616 R. C. Certaine Poems in Times’ Whistle (1871) 135 Your false intent faire wordes obnubilate.
1621 R. Burton Anat. Melancholy i. iii. ii. ii. 258 So doth this melancholy vapor obnubilate the mind.
1686 J. Goad Astro-meteorologica ii. iv. 196 Clouds obnubilating the Face of Heaven shall skreen the Sun from us.
1717 J. Gay Three Hours after Marriage i. 13 Love and Jealousy are often Companions, and Excess of both had quite obnubilated the Eyes of my Understanding.
1768 A. Tucker Light of Nature (1834) I. 461 Until they raise a dust which obnubilates that better light.
1823 S. L. Fairfield Poems 160 No dark sky Obnubilates thy brightness!
1838 J. P. Kennedy Rob of Bowl (1860) x. 93 Your smokers [are] obnubilated in their own clouds.
1902 Academy 5 July 36 A verbal coxcombry which..serves here and there to ‘obnubilate’ the meaning.
1977 P. O’Brian Mauritius Command vii. 184 It is the pity of the world, Dr Maturin, to see a man of your parts obnubilate his mind with the juice of the poppy.
1991 R. Howard tr. E. M. Cioran Anathemas & Admirations ii. 78 Never to be short of illusions, to obnubilate himself: such was his dream.


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