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Obscure   /əbskjˈʊr/   Listen
Obscure

adjective
(compar. obscurer; superl. obscurest)
1.
Not clearly understood or expressed.  Synonym: vague.  "An impulse to go off and fight certain obscure battles of his own spirit" , "Their descriptions of human behavior become vague, dull, and unclear" , "Vague...forms of speech...have so long passed for mysteries of science"
2.
Marked by difficulty of style or expression.  Synonym: dark.  "Those who do not appreciate Kafka's work say his style is obscure"
3.
Difficult to find.  Synonym: hidden.  "A hidden cave" , "An obscure retreat"
4.
Not famous or acclaimed.  Synonyms: unknown, unsung.  "Unsung heroes of the war"
5.
Not drawing attention.  Synonym: unnoticeable.  "An obscure flaw"
6.
Remote and separate physically or socially.  Synonyms: apart, isolated.  "Preserved because they inhabited a place apart" , "Tiny isolated villages remote from centers of civilization" , "An obscure village"



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"Obscure" Quotes from Famous Books



... itself; 'tis a disease that never is where it is discerned; 'tis tenacious and strong, but what the first ray of the patient's sight nevertheless pierces through and disperses, as the beams of the sun do thick and obscure mists; to accuse one's self would be to excuse in this case, and to condemn, to absolve. There never was porter or the silliest girl, that did not think they had sense enough to do their business. ...
— The Essays of Montaigne, Complete • Michel de Montaigne

... Thessal charms doth know, And makes large streams back to their fountains flow; She knows with grass, with threads on wrung[172] wheels spun, And what with mares' rank humour[173] may be done. When she will, cloudes the darkened heaven obscure, When she will, day shines everywhere most pure. 10 If I have faith, I saw the stars drop blood, The purple moon with sanguine visage stood; Her I suspect among night's spirits to fly, And her old body in birds' plumes to lie. Fame saith as I suspect; and in her ...
— The Works of Christopher Marlowe, Vol. 3 (of 3) • Christopher Marlowe

... exaggerated; but it often seems to me, in unrolling a compact Latin sentence, as if I were writing out in words the meaning of an algebraic formula. A single word often requires three or four as its English equivalent. Yet the language is not made obscure by compression. On the contrary, there is no other language in which it is so hard to bury thought or to conceal its ...
— De Amicitia, Scipio's Dream • Marcus Tullius Ciceronis

... time," Miss Jeffries was confiding brightly, for those imperative reasons of her own so obscure to the bewildered young man, "introducing Jack to nice girls—but it never takes! Not seriously. He's a perfectly dear friend, but he doesn't care anything really about girls—and he does need somebody to get him out of his antiquities and his dusty old diggings ... But of course you ...
— The Fortieth Door • Mary Hastings Bradley

... having adopted this means in a hurry, I could at the time see no other easy way out. Timothy's hold on life, as you may have apprehended, was ever of the slightest, and I suppose I always knew that he must soon revert to the obscure. He could never have penetrated into the open. It was no ...
— The Little White Bird - or Adventures In Kensington Gardens • J. M. Barrie

... hand, I maintain that the whole poem is purely Oriental in its exclusively sensuous and often sensual character, and that there is not a trace of romantic sentiment such as would color a similar love-story if told by a modern poet. The Song of Songs is so confused in its arrangement, its plan so obscure, its repetitions and repeated denouements so puzzling,[293] that commentators are not always agreed as to what character in the drama is to be held responsible for certain lines; but for our purpose this difficulty makes no difference. Taking the lines just as they stand, I find ...
— Primitive Love and Love-Stories • Henry Theophilus Finck

... free from the obstructions of traffic; of sweeping forward smoothly, swiftly, and serenely—the land stretching below in an ever-changing panorama, with the drone of the motor in one's ears, and a wine-like exhilaration in the rush of the air: these, and others more obscure, are among ...
— Learning to Fly - A Practical Manual for Beginners • Claude Grahame-White

... one Benjamin Sebastian, whom the Spaniards pensioned in the same manner they did Wilkinson, John Brown, the Kentucky delegate in Congress, and Harry Innes, the Attorney-General of Kentucky. All were more or less identified both with the obscure separatist movements in that commonwealth, and with the legitimate agitation for statehood into which some of these movements insensibly merged. In the spring of 1789 they proposed to Gardoqui to enter into an agreement somewhat similar to the one he had made with Morgan. But they named ...
— The Winning of the West, Volume Three - The Founding of the Trans-Alleghany Commonwealths, 1784-1790 • Theodore Roosevelt

... the depths of this obscure chapel, amid the floating dust, the surly priest placed his withered hands on the bared heads of Gervaise and Coupeau, blessing their union amid a hubbub like that of moving day. The wedding party signed another registry, this time in the sacristy, and then found ...
— L'Assommoir • Emile Zola

... name seems to have been given him in order wantonly to increase the confusion caused by the contradictory traits with which he is accredited. The whole atmosphere of the story is unreal, fantastic, obscure. An attempt is made to endow our poor, raw New York with something of the stormy and ominous mystery of the immemorial cities of Europe. The best feature of the book (morbidness aside) is the construction of the plot, which shows ingenuity and an artistic perception of the value of mystery ...
— Confessions and Criticisms • Julian Hawthorne

... sensible of the very flattering honor you have done me in turning any part of your attention towards a dejected old man, buried in the anticipated grave of a feeble old age, forgetting and forgotten in an obscure ...
— The Works of the Right Honourable Edmund Burke, Vol. VI. (of 12) • Edmund Burke

... followed Leucippus and Democritus. He expounds these theories in his letters to Herodotus and Pythocles, which are preserved in Diogenes Laertius.[785] We shall be guided mainly by his own statements, and when his meaning is obscure, or his exposition is incomplete, we shall avail ourselves of the more elaborate statements of Lucretius,[786] who is uniformly faithful to the doctrine of Epicurus, and universally regarded as ...
— Christianity and Greek Philosophy • Benjamin Franklin Cocker

... familiar to him from photographs, and heard names announced which were already common property. There were some there who had been famous once and were already beginning to be forgotten, others now obscure who were destined to be famous some day, and a few, and these by no means the least gifted, who neither had been nor would be famous at any time. There were two or three constellations of some magnitude on this occasion, ...
— The Giant's Robe • F. Anstey

... Monsieur de Frescas is of obscure birth, mother, I will at once give him up; but you, on your part, must be good enough not to insist upon my marriage ...
— Vautrin • Honore de Balzac

... from the former doctrine, that that God whose words they are, is able to make a reconciliation and most sweet and harmonious agreement with all the sayings therein, how obscure, cross, dark, and contradictory soever they seem to thee. To understand all mysteries, to have all knowledge, to be able to comprehend with all saints, is a great work; enough to crush the spirit, and to stretch the strings of the most capacious and widened soul that breatheth on this side glory, ...
— The Works of John Bunyan • John Bunyan

... Stubblebine never forgave Mrs. Budlong for dragging into the limelight some obscure cousins of her husband's who had drifted into Carthage to borrow money on their farm. Mrs. Stubblebine was always bragging about her people, her own people that is. Her husband's people, of course, were after all ...
— Mrs. Budlong's Chrismas Presents • Rupert Hughes

... was almost suffocated with passion; but she knew her niece too well to doubt her putting her threat into execution, and there was distraction in the idea of the vulgar obscure Grizzy Douglas being presented to a fashionable party as her aunt. After a violent altercation, in which Mary took no part, an ungracious permission was at length extorted, which Mary eagerly availed herself of; and, charged with kind messages from Lady Emily, set off in quest ...
— Marriage • Susan Edmonstone Ferrier

... scenes of everyday life, which interested and amused Fleda to the last degree, Mr. Carleton shewed her many an obscure part of Paris where deeds of daring and of blood had been, and thrilled the little listener's ear with histories of the Past. He judged her rightly. She would rather at any time have gone to walk with him, than with anybody else to see any show that could be devised. ...
— Queechy • Susan Warner

... Mian perceived that her lover's horse was restrained at the door by the two attendants, who with unsuspected delicacy of feeling had taken this opportunity of withdrawing, the noble endurance which had hitherto upheld her melted away, and she became involved in very melancholy and obscure meditations until she observed that Ling also was quickly becoming affected by a ...
— The Wallet of Kai Lung • Ernest Bramah

... airily therein. Asparagus plumes waved over all the old pictures also. The whole room from this delicate garnishing, the faded green tone of the furniture covers and carpet, from the wall-paper in obscure arabesques of green and satiny white, appeared full of woodland shadows. Miss Camilla, swaying her feather fan, served to set these shadows slowly eddying with a motion of repose. She had dozed in her chair, and her mind had lapsed into peaceful dreams before her niece arrived. Now she sat ...
— Jerome, A Poor Man - A Novel • Mary E. Wilkins Freeman

... obscure from the many lacunae. We naturally turn to the letters of Ashur-risua. This man may well be the same as the witness, shaku, and scribe of the queen, at Kalah in B.C. 709. We have nine letters of his referring to Armenian affairs. In one of them(862) he announces ...
— Babylonian and Assyrian Laws, Contracts and Letters • C. H. W. Johns

... comparatively little importance who painted the picture. The controversy, which is not yet finished, serves for the most part merely to obscure the essential fact that here is the picture still in its own place, and that it is beautiful. Very lovely, indeed, she is, Madonna of Happiness, and still at her feet the poor may pray, and still on her dim throne she may see day come and evening fall. Far up in the obscure height ...
— Florence and Northern Tuscany with Genoa • Edward Hutton

... garden, but in the darkness Whamond could not find the gate. Rob climbed the paling, and was at once lost sight of. Then they saw his head obscure the window. They did not, however, hear the ...
— The Little Minister • J.M. Barrie

... 11. l. 17. He, who all the world compressing. Nala here recites the separate pretensions and attributes of the great deities, first, of Hutasa, a name of Agni, the god of fire. The sense here is extremely obscure. Bopp renders it literally. 'Qui hanc terram totam contraxit,' seems ambiguous. It may refer to the agency of fire in compacting the world and again consuming it, or simply shrivelling it up, while ...
— Nala and Damayanti and Other Poems • Henry Hart Milman

... perhaps you read: 'Stock passings. Puckawidgee, Fat cattle: Seven hundred head Swept down the Murrumbidgee; Their destination's quite obscure, But, somehow, there's a notion, Unless the river falls, they're sure To ...
— The Man from Snowy River • Andrew Barton 'Banjo' Paterson

... month of his residence local pains seized him, and he began to waste. For some time the precise nature of the disorder was obscure; but at last a rising surgeon declared it to be an abscess in the intestines (caused, no doubt, by ...
— A Perilous Secret • Charles Reade

... as the modern city wastes this most valuable moment in the life of the girl, and drives into all sorts of absurd and obscure expressions her love and yearning towards the world in which she forecasts her destiny, so it often drives the boy into gambling and drinking in order to ...
— The Spirit of Youth and the City Streets • Jane Addams

... For some obscure psychological reason, Tommy seems to like company on one of these hunts. Perhaps it is because misery loves company, or it may be that he likes to compare notes on the catch. Anyhow, it is a common thing to see from ...
— A Yankee in the Trenches • R. Derby Holmes

... for this catlike man. About Boleskey there was that which made contempt impossible—the sense of comradeship begotten in the fight; the man's height; something lofty and savage in his face; and an obscure instinct that it would not pay to show distaste; but this Kasteliz, with his neat jaw, low brow, and velvety, volcanic look, excited his proper English animosity. "Your friends are mine," murmured Kasteliz. He spoke with suavity, and hissed his s's. A long, vibrating twang quavered through ...
— Forsyte Saga • John Galsworthy

... stagnation: then work-people are dismissed, and those who are retained must submit to a reduction of wages; though in these cases there is neither more nor less capital than before. This is true; and is one of those complications in the concrete phenomena which obscure and disguise the operation of general causes; but it is not really inconsistent with the principles laid down. Capital which the owner does not employ in purchasing labor, but keeps idle in his hands, is the same thing to the ...
— Principles Of Political Economy • John Stuart Mill

... heavens, or of the influence of the planets; for if by chance some one mathematician or astronomer have left behind him anything worthy of memory, they have so blinded it with enigmatical words, blind characters, and such obscure figures, that it is impossible for any earthly man to attain the knowledge thereof without the aid of some spirits, or else the special gift of God, for such as are the hidden works of God from men, yet do we spirits, that fly and ...
— Mediaeval Tales • Various

... safe in England—found out Mad. de Fleury, who was in real distress, in obscure lodgings at Richmond. He delivered the money, and all the presents of which he had taken charge: but the person to whom she entrusted a letter, in answer to Victoire, was not so punctual, or was more unlucky; for the letter ...
— Tales and Novels, Vol. 6 • Maria Edgeworth

... astute in his innocence of the dove—I leave the picture to your knowledge of humour and pathos. Describe Violante brooding over her Italian Poets, and filled with dreams of her fatherland; describe her with all the flashes of her princely nature, shining forth through humble circumstance and obscure position; waken in your listener compassion, respect, admiration for her kindred exiles,—and I think our work is done. She will recognize evidently those whom her brother seeks. She will question you closely where you met ...
— My Novel, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... afterward," he wrote, "it was reported to me by the city officers that they had ferreted out the paper and its editor; that his office was an obscure hole, his only visible auxiliary a negro boy, and his supporters a very few insignificant ...
— William Lloyd Garrison - The Abolitionist • Archibald H. Grimke

... walk, and riding in long sweeping semicircles, methodically searched for Purdy's trail. With set face and narrowed eyes the man studied every foot of the ground, at times throwing himself from the saddle for closer scrutiny of some obscure mark or misplaced stone. So great was his anxiety to overtake the pair that his slow pace became a veritable torture. And at times his struggle to keep from putting spurs to his horse and dashing wildly on, ...
— Prairie Flowers • James B. Hendryx

... on despair, And utter dissolution, as the scope Of all his aim, after some dire revenge. First, what revenge? The tow'rs of Heav'n are fill'd With armed watch, that render all access Impregnable; oft on the bord'ring deep Encamp their legions, or with obscure wing Scout far and wide into the realm of night, Scorning surprise. Or could we break our way By force, and at our heels all hell should rise With blackest insurrection, to confound Heav'n's purest light, yet our great Enemy, All incorruptible, would on his throne Sit unpolluted, and th' ...
— English Critical Essays - Nineteenth Century • Various

... settle this question of possibility, we would not say that God cannot foreknow except in one particular way, and then proceed to reason from such a postulate against the clearest facts in the universe. No logic, and especially no logic based upon so obscure a foundation, shall ever be permitted to extinguish for us the light of facts, or convert the universal intelligence of ...
— A Theodicy, or, Vindication of the Divine Glory • Albert Taylor Bledsoe

... and mother brought them into the thickest and most obscure part of the forest, when, stealing away into a by-path, they there left them. Little Thumb was not very uneasy at it, for he thought he could easily find the way again by means of his bread, which he had scattered all along as he came; but he was very much surprised ...
— The Blue Fairy Book • Various

... so that I may imitate many apostolic laborers whom we have had here, and of whom we have at present many, who have come from all those provinces of Espana; they have made and are making gardens pleasant to the sight of God, from the obscure forests which the devil has possessed so many thousands of years and still possesses in these islands. For, as we have been told, there are eleven thousand islands, of which that of Manila is the largest and most important. ...
— The Philippine Islands, 1493-1898: Volume XXII, 1625-29 • Various

... long as the brain is in order, only these are allowed to come through into consciousness as clear memories. The passage just quoted goes on to speak of "the part played by the brain in memory." "The brain does not serve to preserve the past but primarily to obscure it, and then to let just so much as is ...
— The Misuse of Mind • Karin Stephen

... asexual propagation are so obscure, that at present we cannot be said to know much about them; but if we turn to that mode of perpetuation which results from the sexual process, then we find variation a perfectly constant occurrence, to a certain extent; and, ...
— The Perpetuation Of Living Beings, Hereditary Transmission And Variation • Thomas H. Huxley

... three Pitakas were introduced into Ceylon by Mahinda in the reign of Asoka, but only as oral tradition and not in a written form. They received this latter about 20 B.C., as the result of a dispute between two monasteries[636]. The controversy is obscure but it appears that the ancient foundation called Mahavihara accepted as canonical the fifth book of the Vinaya called Parivara, whereas it was rejected by the new monastery called Abhayagiri. The Sinhalese chronicle (Mahavamsa XXXIII. 100-104) ...
— Hinduism and Buddhism, Vol I. (of 3) - An Historical Sketch • Charles Eliot

... spiritual truth thus revealed. Had the task been entrusted to our own or later generations, it is not probable that the result would have differed in any important essential. For a few brief centuries false theories and traditions may partially obscure the truth, but these, like the mists of morning, are sure in time to melt away and reveal the eternal verities in their sublime ...
— The Origin & Permanent Value of the Old Testament • Charles Foster Kent

... not understand it either. He had an obscure sense of that joyous madness which arises from poverty itself, like a dim but wonderful dream of reaching the light. And he could not understand why it failed; and yet he must always follow that impetus upward which resided in him, and scramble up once more. Yet otherwise his knowledge was wide; ...
— Pelle the Conqueror, Complete • Martin Andersen Nexo

... thrown aside, as it serves, or fails to serve, the needs of the moment. Often the man, in whom will is predominant, does not know how he gains the object he is aiming at; it comes to his hands, but the "how" is obscure to him; he willed to have it, and nature gives it to him. This is also seen in Yoga in the man of Ahamkara, the sub-type of will in cognition. Just as in the man of Ahamkara, Buddhi and Manas are subordinate, so in the man of Buddhi, Ahamkara ...
— An Introduction to Yoga • Annie Besant

... Childhood. The child does not balance reasons or desires. Instead, he acts impetuously and unthinkingly, as the feeling of the passing moment impels him. Often one desire so completely absorbs his mind as to obscure everything else, and he will make any effort to gain his end. His case is like that of a man who "sets his heart" on a thing, or who harbors an alluring temptation too long, until it overpowers him. This is ...
— The Unfolding Life • Antoinette Abernethy Lamoreaux

... to me," said Hallin, slily, "that when a certain person was once asked to name the winner of the Derby in some obscure year, he began at the beginning, and gave us all of them, from first to last, ...
— Marcella • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... illness came she had to stand between him and the peril of exhaustion from official cares, yet she could not, like the more fortunately obscure, withdraw her husband from business altogether and take him away to some quiet place for restoration. As head of the nation he must be kept in touch with affairs, and during the early months of his illness she was the chief ...
— Woodrow Wilson as I Know Him • Joseph P. Tumulty

... a real moral principle involved. I believe that this deep instinct for labor in and about the soil is a valid one, and that the gathering together of people in cities has been at the cost of an obscure but actual ...
— The Brown Mouse • Herbert Quick

... like eyes in prayer, Turn unto them for guiding ray: If storms obscure their radiance, The great ...
— Hetty's Strange History • Anonymous

... fifty, in order to secure at the latter age the annuity of L18, that the company dissolved into thin air, and with it dissolved also Uncle Jack's L3,000. Nothing more was then seen or heard of him for three years. So obscure was his existence that on the death of an aunt, who left him a small farm in Cornwall, it was necessary to advertise that "If John Jones Tibbets, Esq., would apply to Messrs. Blunt & Tin, Lothbury, between the hours of ten and four, he would hear of something to his advantage." But even as a conjurer ...
— The Caxtons, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... is a disappointing book, not from being too immoral nor from being not immoral enough, but because it does not "come off." There is a certain promise, suggestion, "atmosphere," but the actual characterisation is vague and obscure, and the story is told with no grasp. This habit of "flashing in the pan" is said to have been characteristic of all Latouche's work, which was fairly voluminous and of many different kinds, from journalism to poetry; and it may have been partly due to, partly the cause ...
— A History of the French Novel, Vol. 2 - To the Close of the 19th Century • George Saintsbury

... Gorge, and ascends the box-like summit cap by a shelf trail which sometimes has terrors for the unaccustomed. Several hundred persons make the ascent each summer without accident, including many women and a few children. The one risk is that accidental snow obscure the trail; but Longs Peak is not often ascended without ...
— The Book of the National Parks • Robert Sterling Yard

... remarked, my good fellow," the voice was saying, "I am not a disciple of the semi-obscure. If a man has a thought which is worth declaring, let him declare it with a free and noble utterance—don't let him wrap it up in multifarious parcels of dreary verbosity! There's too much of that kind of thing going on nowadays—in England, at least. There's a kind of imitation of art which ...
— Thelma • Marie Corelli

... ahead,—increasing in volume as it approached, until there was one universal shout. Then some favorite general officer, dashing by, followed by his staff, would explain the cause. At other times, the same cheering and enthusiasm would result from the passage down the column of some obscure and despised officer, who knew it was all a joke, and looked mean and sheepish accordingly. But no man could produce more prolonged or hearty cheers than the "old hare" which jumped the fence and invited the column to a chase; and often it was said, when the rolling ...
— Detailed Minutiae of Soldier life in the Army of Northern Virginia, 1861-1865 • Carlton McCarthy

... the wall and said no more; but she had started a less pleasant train of thought. It was changed again by Temperance coming with lights. Though the tall brass lamps glittered like gold, their circle of light was small; the corners of the room were obscure. Mr. Park, entering, retreated into one, and mother was obliged to forego the pleasure of undressing Arthur; so she sent him off with Temperance and Charles, whose duty it was to rock the cradle as long ...
— The Morgesons • Elizabeth Stoddard

... great conciseness of Tacitus has rendered the description of this battle somewhat obscure. The following, however, seems to have been the general course of occurrences in it:—The foot on both sides began the engagement. The first line of the Britons which was formed on the plain being broken, the Roman auxiliaries advanced up the hill after them. In the meantime the ...
— The Germany and the Agricola of Tacitus • Tacitus

... commended by physicians, condemned and eulogized by priests, vilified and venerated by kings, and alternately proscribed and protected by governments, this once insignificant production of a little island or an obscure district, has succeeded in diffusing itself throughout every clime, and—exhilarating and enriching its thousands—has subjected the inhabitants of every country to its dominion. And every where it is a source of comfort ...
— Tobacco; Its History, Varieties, Culture, Manufacture and Commerce • E. R. Billings

... cloud is in his head, That doth but show how wisdom's covered With its own mantles, and to stir the mind To a search after what it fain would find. Things that seem to be hid in words obscure, Do but the godly mind the more allure To study what those sayings should contain, That speak to us ...
— The Works of John Bunyan • John Bunyan

... the Buddha or one of the household of faith. He is to be moderate but not ascetic in food and clothing: he is not to cleave to the Puranas and Tantras but to practise the Paramitas. These are defined first as six[430] and then four others are added.[431] Under Prajnaparamita is given a somewhat obscure account of the doctrine of Sunyata. Then follows the exposition of Paramaguhya (the highest secret) and Mahaguhya (the great secret). The latter is defined as being Yoga, the bhavanas, the four noble truths and the ten paramitas. The former explains the embodiment ...
— Hinduism and Buddhism, An Historical Sketch, Vol. 3 (of 3) • Charles Eliot

... despair would require. But yet 'tis pleasing. Soften the terms, and mellow the uncouth horror that reigns here, but a little, and 'tis a charming solitude. It stands on a large space of ground, is old and irregular. The chapel is gloomy: behind it, through some dark passages, you pass into a large obscure hall, which looks like a combination-chamber for some hellish council. The large cloister surrounds their burying-ground. The cloisters are very narrow and very long, and let into the cells, which are built like little huts ...
— Letters of Horace Walpole - Volume I • Horace Walpole

... far indeed from that; and so on!—"people are surprised at its brevity; and, studying it as theologians do a passage of Scripture, can make almost nothing of it. Clear as crystal, says one; dexterously obscure by design, says another. ...
— History of Friedrich II. of Prussia, Vol. XII. (of XXI.) • Thomas Carlyle

... then, behind duty that is obscure, difficult, contradictory. And these are certainly words to call up painful memories. To be a man of duty and to question one's route, grope in the dark, feel one's self torn between the contrary solicitations of conflicting ...
— The Simple Life • Charles Wagner

... unturned, no resource omitted, to show to other mortals the way into the interior of our mighty globe, and your fellow creatures can find the trail left by your illustrious footsteps, three hundred years ago, at the bottom of these obscure subterranean abodes. You have been careful to secure for others the contemplation of these wonders and marvels of creation. Your name engraved at every important stage of your glorious journey leads the hopeful traveler direct to the great and mighty discovery to which you devoted ...
— A Journey to the Centre of the Earth • Jules Verne

... Indeed, I differ from all the ordinary biographers of that independent gentleman, Don't Care. I believe Don't Care came to a good end. At any rate he came to some end. Whereas numbers of people never have beginning, or ending, of their own. An obscure dramatist, Milverton, whom we know of, makes one of his characters say, in reply to some ...
— Friends in Council (First Series) • Sir Arthur Helps

... Fourth Folio ends the early history of how Shakespeare got into print. From that time to this a long line of famous and obscure men, at first mostly men of letters, but afterwards, and especially in our own times, trained specialists in their profession, have devoted much of their lives to the editing of Shakespeare. Their ideal has been, usually, to give readers the text of his poems and plays ...
— An Introduction to Shakespeare • H. N. MacCracken

... and are only known to us in the mass. As to elements, and their elements, consciousness does not attain to them. They are to sensations what secondary molecules and primitive molecules are to bodies. We get a glance here and there at obscure and infinite worlds extending beneath our distinct sensations. These are compounds and wholes. For their elements to be perceptible to consciousness, it is necessary for them to be added together, and so to acquire ...
— A Series of Lessons in Raja Yoga • Yogi Ramacharaka

... saw the door of the post office open, and Miss Norton appeared. The mistress looked carefully up and down the village, then walked hurriedly across the road, and bolted into "The Royal George" opposite. Marjorie gasped. That the august house mistress of St. Elgiva's should visit an obscure and second-rate public-house was surely a most unusual circumstance. She could not understand it at all. She discussed it with Dona ...
— A Patriotic Schoolgirl • Angela Brazil

... frequently, as the clues and suggestions the experiments will produce are of much greater service than will at first appear, and of more practical value than pages of theory, as the how and why will be revealed for much that would be obscure without this assistance. As experience grows, it will not be necessary to adopt this copying process so often, for the eye soon becomes alert at detecting slight shades of difference in strokes, and a glance will convey more than could be explained ...
— The Detection of Forgery • Douglas Blackburn

... terriers seen nowadays in every dog show were equally obscure and unknown a few years back. Thirty-seven years ago the now popular Irish Terrier was practically unknown in England, and the Scottish Terrier was only beginning to be recognised as a distinct breed. The Welsh Terrier is quite a new introduction that a ...
— Dogs and All About Them • Robert Leighton

... not really so obtrusive as he had fancied. Anyhow, he saw no reason for interfering with it. What he would do away with, however, was a clump of dark growth which had usurped a place against the house wall, and was threatening to obscure one of the lower range of windows. It did not look as if it could possibly be worth keeping; he fancied it dank and unhealthy, little as he could ...
— Ghost Stories of an Antiquary - Part 2: More Ghost Stories • Montague Rhodes James

... disappeared, a grey canopy of clouds was spread over the sky, sufficiently thick to obscure the stars. Thus the night was more than usually dark. Still, as the atmosphere was free from mist, seamen's eyes could distinguish objects at a considerable distance off. With much anxiety we watched the rover, in the hope that the growing darkness would hide her from our view; but ...
— Old Jack • W.H.G. Kingston

... carefully decked Theodora in small finery, hung garlands of red and yellow maple leaves upon the perambulator, twined chains of winter-green berries about its handle, tied a bunch of gorgeous golden rod to its parasol, and trundled it by devious and obscure ways to the sacred precincts ...
— New Faces • Myra Kelly

... been occupied with obscure and shadowy personalities. The authors of the Upanishads are nameless and even MahavIra is unknown outside India. But we now come to the career of one who must be ranked among the greatest leaders of thought that ...
— Hinduism and Buddhism, Vol I. (of 3) - An Historical Sketch • Charles Eliot

... dealing with mankind in masses,—the very thing from which the younger regular officers at least had been rigidly excluded. From a monastic life at West Point they had usually been transferred to a yet more isolated condition, in some obscure outpost,—or if otherwise, then they had seen no service at all, and were mere clerks in shoulder-straps. But a lawyer who could manoeuvre fifty witnesses as if they were one,—a teacher used to governing young men by ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 14, No. 83, September, 1864 • Various

... are too large, it is impossible to secure enough perfect pieces from one tree to form a series for various tests. Moreover, the drying process with large timbers is very difficult and irregular, and requires a long period of time, besides causing checks and internal stresses which may obscure the results obtained. ...
— The Mechanical Properties of Wood • Samuel J. Record

... for her in front of the fire. The flames lit up her golden hair, and revealed her charming face in its becoming setting of the sables she wore. He sat in his obscure corner, watching her with moody eyes. He said to himself that he would never see her again, yet he laboured to make ordinary everyday talk. He asked after the General, and regretted that the hurry of these latter days had prevented ...
— Mary Gray • Katharine Tynan

... universal praise which ought to follow it. I look upon the alteration of "It's hame and it's hame," and "A wet sheet and a flowing sea," as among the best songs going. His prose has often admirable passages; but he is obscure, and overlays his meaning, which will not do now-a-days, when he who ...
— The Journal of Sir Walter Scott - From the Original Manuscript at Abbotsford • Walter Scott

... "achieve reputations when all eyes are focused upon them, who fall into petty worthlessness amid obscurity and monotony. Life's crowning victory belongs to those who have won no brilliant battle, suffered no crushing wrong; who have figured in no great drama, whose sphere was obscure, but who have loved great principles midst small duties, nourished sublime hopes amid vulgar cares, and illustrated eternal ...
— A Man's Value to Society - Studies in Self Culture and Character • Newell Dwight Hillis

... Presbyterian, in the afternoon a French Roman Catholic, each understanding a little English; and in each case I had special reasons for hope and longing that the sermon might bring some spiritual help. Instinctively, I avoided every expression which could in the least complicate my English and thus obscure the message to my foreign friends. And so thankful was I for the pruning of periods that resulted, that I am much disposed, in all future preaching, to put mentally before ...
— To My Younger Brethren - Chapters on Pastoral Life and Work • Handley C. G. Moule

... particularly happy. Here, after carefully locking the door, he would take a bag of gold coin, or a gold cup as big as a washbowl, or a heavy golden bar, or a peck measure of gold dust, and bring it from the obscure corners of the room into the one bright and narrow sunbeam that fell from the dungeon-like window. He valued the sunbeam for no other reason but that his treasure would not shine without its help. And then would he reckon over the coins in the bag, toss up the bar and catch it ...
— Journeys Through Bookland V2 • Charles H. Sylvester

... accepted as the true and final explanation of their origin. A certain "Maister Alexander Galloway" had apparently strolled with the historian along the sea-coast, the former giving "his mynd with maist ernist besynes to serche the verite of this obscure and mysty dowtis." Lifting up a piece of tangle, they beheld the seaweed to be hanging full of mussel-shells from the root to the branches. Maister Galloway opened one of the mussel-shells, and was "mair astonis than afore" to find ...
— Young Folks' Library, Volume XI (of 20) - Wonders of Earth, Sea and Sky • Various

... love of perfidy, Such is the love that is returned for mine. Ungrateful man! 'twas not the pageantry Of regal state, the clarions, nor the guard, Nor loyal valour, nor submissive beauty, Silence at my approach, awe at my voice, Happiness at my smile, that led my youth Toward Roderigo! I had lived obscure, In humbleness, in poverty, in want, Blest, oh supremely blest! with him alone: And he abandons me, rejects me, scorns me, Insensible! inhuman! for another! Thou shalt repent thy wretched choice, false man! Crimes such as thine call loudly for ...
— Count Julian • Walter Savage Landor

... way up the ravine,—perhaps seeking shelter from the sand-storm; but what had caused it to return so suddenly back down the slope? Above all, why had it made the downward journey in such a singular manner? Obscure as had been their view of it, they could see that it did not go on all-fours, but apparently tumbling and struggling,—its long limbs kicking about in the air, as if it was performing the descent ...
— The Boy Slaves • Mayne Reid

... though at times Our flashing swords obscure the sun. We ring aloud our Christmas chimes, But louder sounds the booming gun, And brother is by brother slain, And kindred ties ...
— Gleams of Sunshine - Optimistic Poems • Joseph Horatio Chant

... dear Lord? Well, there are dreams and dreams, Are those of BURNS much worse than those of WEMYSS? Are WESTMINSTER's vain visions, though mature The dreamer, less absurd or more obscure Than those of some "young man" who dares to hope That he with crowded London's ills can cope? "Behold this dreamer cometh!" So of old The sons of JACOB, envious, scornful, cold, And fearful for their privilege of birth And of possession, in derisive mirth, Cried ...
— Punch, Or The London Charivari, Volume 102, March 12, 1892 • Various

... among the men, who complained that they were being dragged to this obscure spot to die of hunger, and many of them wrote to their friends bewailing their deplorable condition, but Almagro did his best to seize all these letters, and only one escaped him. This was concealed in a ball of cotton sent as a present ...
— The Red True Story Book • Various

... river-god, a stream which overflows its banks, or, referring to the story that, when Thetis laid him in the fire, one of his lips, which he had licked, was consumed (Tzetzes on Lycophron, 178); "restrainer of the people,' (eche-laos); "healer of sorrow'' (ache-loios); "the obscure'' (connected with achlus, "mist''); "snakeborn'' (echis), the snake being one of the chief forms taken by Thetis. The most generally received view makes him a god of light, especially of the sun or of ...
— Project Gutenberg Encyclopedia

... a ghostly escort for our escape. Those dead boats'-crews were supposed to haunt the fatal spot, after the manner of spectres that linger in remorse, regret, or revenge, about the gates of departure. I had blundered; the fog, breaking apart, had betrayed us. But my obscure and vanquished countrymen held possession of the outlet by the memory of their courage. In this critical moment it was they, I may say, who ...
— Romance • Joseph Conrad and F.M. Hueffer

... leading from the place of the Bastille, parallel with the river; and this I have good reason to remember. It is called Rue St. Antoine. I learned well, also, a certain prison, and a part of the ancient city called Faubourg St. Germain. One who can strike obscure trails in the wilderness of nature, may blunt his fine instincts on ...
— Lazarre • Mary Hartwell Catherwood

... gentlemen," said he, "it occurs to me that you have not yet thought of selecting a profession; your future career seems at present somewhat obscure." ...
— Willis the Pilot • Paul Adrien

... of those who are blinded by traditions and refuse to investigate, or to know these mathematical truths, are a danger to humanity in directly helping to obscure issues, and in helping to maintain the faulty structure which, as in the past, is bound to collapse again and again in ...
— Manhood of Humanity. • Alfred Korzybski

... to walk, there was his room with the books in the chimney cupboard. Some of them David had read before, but many of them he had not. One or two were old friends; but not so "Dare Devil Dick," and "The Pirates of Pigeon Cove" (which he found hidden in an obscure corner behind a loose board). Side by side stood "The Lady of the Lake," "Treasure Island," and "David Copperfield"; and coverless and dogeared lay "Robinson Crusoe," "The Arabian Nights," and "Grimm's Fairy Tales." There were more, many more, and David ...
— Just David • Eleanor H. Porter

... accurately determined. First comes the old Chaldaean period, next the Assyrian, during which the great city of Nineveh was built, and finally the Persian, after Cyrus had subdued the older monarchies; and remains exist of all these periods. As to the origin of the Chaldaean Kingdom, however, all is obscure; and the earliest date which can be fixed with the slightest approach to probability is 2234 B.C., when Nimrod is supposed to have founded the old Chaldaean dynasty. This seems to have lasted about ...
— Architecture - Classic and Early Christian • Thomas Roger Smith

... Faraday alluded in one of his lectures to the possibility of producing fire by means of compressed air as a discovery of comparatively modern science; whereas the fact has long been recognised and put to practical use in these obscure regions of the earth. The war-jackets were made of birds' feathers and wild beasts' skins, or of the barks of trees. Sometimes these garments were liberally decorated with small bells, cowries, and pieces of metal cut from old petroleum and preserved meat tins, which jingle ...
— The Last Voyage - to India and Australia, in the 'Sunbeam' • Lady (Annie Allnutt) Brassey

... Whether he was the father or the son of the churches of the Valleys his history ought not to be forgotten. With what interest would not the pen of Muston have clothed the recital! what attraction! what novelty! How the reformation, which originated in the cell of an obscure cloister, had already germinated in the mind of Waldo; how the rich merchant of Lyons, in search of the treasures of the age, was suddenly changed into a bumble disciple, voluntarily poor; and what were the principal traits of his ministry, his voyages, his relations, his life, his death! ...
— The International Monthly Magazine, Volume 5, No. 1, January, 1852 • Various

... were purely inductive or purely deductive, and if it always appeared in as simple a form as in the preceding illustration, one would have little difficulty in classifying and testing it. But frequently the two kinds appear in such obscure form and in such varied combinations that only an expert logician can separate and classify them. Because of this difficulty, it is worth while to know a second method of classification, one which is often ...
— Practical Argumentation • George K. Pattee

... struggling painter, painting his poor little pictures in his obscure corner to feed half a dozen hungry children and the anxious, careworn wife, whose beauty has long faded away in the petty, sordid, hopeless domestic struggle, just as her husband's little talent has long been wasted and used up in wretched ...
— The Martian • George Du Maurier

... Bothwelhaugh, who slew the Regent Murray. That his motive was not mere political assassination, but to avenge the ill-treatment and death of his wife, seems to be disproved by Maidment. The affair, however, is still obscure. This deserted Lady Anne of the ballad was, in fact, not the wife of Bothwelhaugh, but the daughter of the Bishop of Orkney; her lover is said to have been her cousin, Alexander Erskine, son of the Earl of Mar. Part of ...
— A Collection of Ballads • Andrew Lang

... enthusiastic popularity Madame Roland and her husband retired from the magnificent palace where they had dwelt for so short a time, and, with a little pardonable ostentation, selected for their retreat very humble apartments in an apparently obscure street of the agitated metropolis. It was the retirement of a philosopher proud of the gloom of his garret. But M. Roland and wife were more powerful now than ever before. The famous letter had placed them in the front ranks of the friends of reform, and enshrined them in the hearts ...
— Madame Roland, Makers of History • John S. C. Abbott

... August winds blow from the west, carrying sand and dust across the country, which can obscure visibility ...
— The 2004 CIA World Factbook • United States. Central Intelligence Agency

... which we find the quintessence of Donne's genius—was a mere utterance of abstract thoughts into the wind. Donne, as has been pointed out, was more than most writers a poet of personal experience. His greatest poetry was born of struggle and conflict in the obscure depths of the soul as surely as was the religion of St. Paul. I doubt if, in the history of his genius, any event ever happened of equal importance to his meeting with the lady who first set going in his brain that ...
— The Art of Letters • Robert Lynd

... also present, but in an obscure corner, and his presence seems to have been unnoticed. The next morning, at five o'clock, Ralph Mainwaring passed away, happy in the thought that he had at last made reparation for his injustice to his elder son. Within two months the old Scotchman died, and Richard ...
— That Mainwaring Affair • Maynard Barbour

... case was hardly that, for Norman did not love her. Daughter of a felon as she—Madaline—was—poor, lowly, obscure—he had given her his heart, although he could never make her the mistress of his home. There was some compensation for human suffering, some equality in the human lot, after all. She would be resigned. There were lots in life far worse than hers. What if she had ...
— Wife in Name Only • Charlotte M. Braeme (Bertha M. Clay)

... without an Exchange, and the merchants held their meetings in an old building which John Law, the celebrated financier, once occupied. They afterward met in the Palais Royal, and still later, in a comparatively obscure street. The first stone of the Bourse was laid on the 28th of March, 1808, and the works proceeded with dispatch till 1814, when they were suspended. It was completed in 1826. The architect who designed it died when it was half completed, but the plan was carried out, ...
— Paris: With Pen and Pencil - Its People and Literature, Its Life and Business • David W. Bartlett

... country given over to that worst tyranny, the tyranny of caste over caste, should have become the seat of civil liberty, the object of the admiration and envy of surrounding states, is one of the most obscure problems in the philosophy of history. But the fact is certain. Within a century and a half after the Norman conquest, the Great Charter was conceded. Within two centuries after the Conquest, the ...
— Critical and Historical Essays Volume 1 • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... of Michelangelo's poetry is rather psychological than purely literary. He never claimed to be more than an amateur, writing to amuse himself. His style is obscure, crabbed, ungrammatical. Expression only finds a smooth and flowing outlet when the man's nature is profoundly stirred by some powerful emotion, as in the sonnets to Cavalieri, or the sonnets on the deaths of Vittoria Colonna and Urbino, or the sonnets on the ...
— The Life of Michelangelo Buonarroti • John Addington Symonds

... idiot, how can I know what you are talking about? You come in with an obscure outburst of enthusiasm over something,—a woman, I infer,—and because the particular tone, and direction, and mood of your insanity is not recognized within a moment, you descend to personalities. If your distemper has left you reason enough ...
— A Man and a Woman • Stanley Waterloo

... the same prayers and the same fits of despair—nay, the same paroxysms of humility peculiar to an accursed creature who is crushed down in the mire from whence he has sprung. His fleshly desires, his spiritual needs, were confounded together and seemed to spring from the obscure depths of his being and to bear but one blossom on the tree of his existence. He abandoned himself to the power of love and of faith, those twin levers which move the world. And despite all the struggles of his reason this bedroom of Nana's always filled him with madness, and he ...
— Nana, The Miller's Daughter, Captain Burle, Death of Olivier Becaille • Emile Zola

... may be thought, had enough on his hands; but in an obscure country town, it is not unusual for one man to unite the occupations of several, and this was particularly the case with my father, who, in addition to the offices I have enumerated, was the best cattle-doctor and bone-setter within ten miles, ...
— The Little Savage • Captain Frederick Marryat

... books that will pay, and they generally pounce on a good manuscript in fiction, whether the writer be known or unknown. It is much more easy to predict whether a novel will pay or not than to prophecy about a drama. Thus the most obscure author (in spite of the difficulties faced by "Jane Eyre" and "Vanity Fair") may rely on it, that if his MS. is not accepted, it is not worth accepting. He should not, if he has decently sound reasons for self-confidence, be disheartened by two or three refusals. One man's ...
— Lost Leaders • Andrew Lang



Words linked to "Obscure" :   efface, change, inconspicuous, alter, muddy, obscurity, mystify, inglorious, modify, confound, incomprehensible, reduce, cloud, unconnected, linguistics, overshadow, conceal, invisible, concealed, obliterate, unclear, uncomprehensible



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