Definition of obfuscate in English:



[with object]
  • 1Make obscure, unclear, or unintelligible.

    ‘the spelling changes will deform some familiar words and obfuscate their etymological origins’
    • ‘A top-notch lawyer is able to spin, twist, and obfuscate complicated issues in such a manner that the judge thinks he has an unbiased understanding of the issue.’
    • ‘I was able to grasp the thread of the plot, pick up on tension and menace that was obfuscated in the original cut.’
    • ‘In fact, in my experience, the more palatable art tends to obfuscate truth to an even greater degree than art that reflects some of humanity's fallen state.’
    • ‘Is it time to obfuscate obscurantism, so to speak, even to oneself?’
    • ‘The one talent that the sea hare has is to squirt obfuscating clouds of ink, which turn out, to be beautifully chemically tuned to predators' nervous systems.’
    • ‘It may have made money from various off-the-books vehicles that obfuscated its true finances, but the company's legitimate means of making money was by betting on energy prices.’
    • ‘A technology that was designed to enhance our already communication-heavy lives now serves to obfuscate it.’
    • ‘It is my earnest wish that this error on my part will not obfuscate the original intent of my essay: choose to fight the negativity.’
    • ‘When it comes to password integrity, the key is to obfuscate words as much as possible.’
    • ‘No more hiding behind complicated accounting fantasy language, no more obfuscating the reality of what misdeeds were going down in the name of business at her company, she wanted the real, plain, unvarnished truth recounted.’
    • ‘This is something that those who wish to obfuscate the origins of our current conflicts with extremists tend to gloss over or ignore.’
    • ‘The mortal mind obfuscates the spiritual truth, which is the love of God.’
    • ‘To the degree that those words are used to obfuscate realities that are otherwise painful to utter, our monuments will be correspondingly fragile.’
    • ‘Until this deficiency is rectified, invoking craving merely further obfuscates an already confused area.’
    • ‘As we noted several months ago, orotund, abstract language can obfuscate accountability, truth-telling, and as we're now seeing most clearly, the simple facing of reality.’
    • ‘They are renowned in the industry for obfuscating their code to ensure that only they can maintain it.’
    • ‘In a wonderful theatrical performance Jones succeeded in making an even bigger tool of himself by attempting to obfuscate the unobfuscatible.’
    • ‘Yes, many of these dictators are nasty and evil but obfuscating the argument with comparative deflections doesn't alter the original argumentative premise.’
    • ‘In fact, where he might have taken the opportunity to obfuscate his support for the war, and therefore distance himself from the most immediately unpopular episode of the Prime Minister's tenure, he has resolutely stated that he is for it.’
    • ‘Obscure academics will trundle out to obfuscate the finer points of constitutional and ecclesiastical propriety.’
    obscure, confuse, make obscure, make unclear, blur, muddle, jumble, complicate, garble, muddy, cloud, befog
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    1. 1.1 Bewilder (someone)
      ‘the new rule is more likely to obfuscate people than enlighten them’
      • ‘The main thing is to confuse and obfuscate the audience.’
      • ‘For example, the supply of gold from official sources is on a 24-hour basis, in spite of the Washington agreement and similar declarations largely drafted in order to obfuscate rather than to enlighten.’
      • ‘In that context, Marine's directorial flourishes obfuscate more than they enlighten.’
      bewilder, mystify, puzzle, perplex, baffle, confound, bemuse, befuddle, nonplus
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Late Middle English: from late Latin obfuscat- ‘darkened’, from the verb obfuscare, based on Latin fuscus ‘dark’.