Definition of obscurantism in English:



mass noun
  • The practice of deliberately preventing the facts or full details of something from becoming known.

    ‘allegations in the Press about government obscurantism’
    • ‘Our problem is becoming obscurantism, which is a deliberate hiding of the facts by vested interests who know they are injuring us.’
    • ‘In the early years of the irreconcilable conflict between science and religious obscurantism, the head of the Roman Catholic Church could place Galileo under house arrest or have Giordano Bruno burned at the stake.’
    • ‘Describing the average Orangeman as ‘the last thing in obscurantism, prejudice, and ignorance,’ he viewed the Order as the antithesis of an Irish Ireland citizenry.’
    • ‘The intellectual, like the utopian, is constantly attacked for obscurantism.’
    • ‘He was shot dead in open court, an early martyr in the struggle against obscurantism.’
    • ‘At first liberalism rallied in the face of medieval obscurantism.’
    • ‘The ideological dependence of bourgeois politics upon religious backwardness and obscurantism testifies to the bankruptcy and desperation of the ruling elites, and not only in the United States.’
    • ‘The classics, it is generally agreed, are a repository of class vanity, racial prejudice and pedantic obscurantism.’
    • ‘Or do you believe that obscurantism is all religion has to offer?’
    • ‘Instead of succumbing to the forces of religious obscurantism, incompetence and repression, the region's Muslims are set to provide a template for modernist believers across the globe.’
    • ‘I'm positively depressed with the levels of prejudice and obscurantism I've witnessed in modern day Scotland.’
    • ‘Of course under some circumstances you find yourself skirting the edge of obscurantism.’
    • ‘Today, the greatest ally of obscurantism is the spiritually empty economism of our prosperous liberal societies.’
    • ‘They invite questions but also somehow avoid pretentiousness, obscurantism or any form of exclusivity.’
    • ‘The choice isn't between prolonging an idyll and risking change, but between a belated attempt to secure a global niche and a decline into obscurantism likely to end in prolonged violence and general incapability.’
    • ‘The ruling regime sustains itself through a combination of fear, prejudice and religious obscurantism.’
    • ‘My theory is that her obscurantism is a revenge for the drooling nonsense recited about her by men, male directors especially.’
    • ‘Eldword came to symbolize political obscurantism and right-wing extremism but was an exceptionally able lawyer and in private life good-natured, even-tempered, and affectionate, fond of a good story and good port.’
    • ‘It is hoped that in their absence, other scientists will come forward to champion science against religious obscurantism before masses of people.’
    • ‘The media has seized upon the long-anticipated death of the 84-year-old pontiff to subject the American public to a saturation bombardment of religious obscurantism and superstition.’


Mid 19th century: from earlier obscurant, denoting a person who obscures something, via German from Latin obscurant- ‘making dark’, from the verb obscurare.