Definition of dim in English:


Syllabification: dim

adjective (dimmer, dimmest)

  • 1(Of a light, color, or illuminated object) not shining brightly or clearly: her face was softened by the dim light
    More example sentences
    • Her big dark emerald green eyes shone brightly in the dim light.
    • The dim rays of light were shining through, just like before.
    • The lighting that is currently in place is extremely poor, with only six lights providing dim illumination inside the subway.
    faint, weak, feeble, soft, pale, dull, subdued, muted
  • 1.1(Of an object or shape) made difficult to see by darkness, shade, or distance: a dim figure in the dark kitchen
    More example sentences
    • Then she began to make out dim shapes that in a few moments revealed themselves to be crates, tackle, ropes, barrels, and hooks.
    • Then, turning back towards the dim shapes across the stream, ‘It's like that joke about looking into a nudist camp,’ he said.
    • Eventually the ship's throbbing cut out, and they could see the dim shapes of launches being lowered over the sides.
  • 1.2(Of a room or space) made difficult to see in by darkness: long dim corridors
    More example sentences
    • Frescoes of demons and spirits writhe across the walls of its prayer halls, and the drone of absorbed monks fills dim rooms and corridors.
    • About half of the 20 young women are otherwise engaged in the Champagne Room, a dim, closet-size space that holds half a dozen couples.
    • I was pleasantly surprised to discover a clamorous, dim room filled with networked computers available dirt-cheap.
    dark, badly lit, ill-lit, underlit, dingy, dismal, gloomy, murky
    literary tenebrous
  • 1.3(Of the eyes) not able to see clearly: his eyes became dim
    More example sentences
    • ‘My eyes are dim, I cannot see, I have not brought my specs with me, I have not brought my specs with me’.
    • Her chestnut eyes were dim with sleepiness as they came in contact with his live blue ones.
    • When she stood back up, the blood rushed around her brain and made her eyes go dim for a moment.
  • 1.4(Of a sound) indistinct or muffled: the dim drone of their voices
    More example sentences
    • My thinking was interrupted by dim sounds off in the distance.
    • It was a dim sound, and was clearly growing steadier by the second.
    • He pushed his focus toward the dim echoes of the water.
  • 1.5(Of prospects) not giving cause for hope or optimism: their prospects for the future looked pretty dim
    More example sentences
    • Once they leave, future prospects are extremely dim.
    • The Minister painted a human figure in black surrounded by red with a dash of yellow on the top giving it a cheerful outlook in otherwise dim circumstances.
    • But our chronically weak dollar is a clear sign that the global investment community thinks our economic prospects are dim.
    gloomy, unpromising, unfavorable, discouraging, disheartening, depressing, dispiriting, hopeless
  • 2Not clearly recalled or formulated in the mind: she had dim memories of that time the matter was in the dim and distant past
    More example sentences
    • I have in mind a dim memory of the Commissioner trying to grapple with this kind or problem.
    • I can also vaguely recall occasionally going to a club called Catacombs, but since I was off my face on snakebite and black, my memories are dim and distant.
    • Those days, however, must seem a dim and distant memory.
    vague, imprecise, imperfect, unclear, indistinct, sketchy, hazy, blurred, shadowy
  • 2.1 informal Stupid or slow to understand: you’re just incredibly dim
    More example sentences
    • No less worrisome, therefore, is the fact that the networks that own so many of these stations are too dim to understand this fact.
    • It was generally accepted that he either wanted a nuclear war or was too dim to understand the consequences.
    • I try convincing a couple of girls driving in to back out and go back in again, but they are too dim to understand.

verb (dims, dimming, dimmed)

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  • 1Make or become less bright or distinct: [with object]: a smoky inferno that dimmed the sun [no object]: the lights dimmed and the curtains parted
    More example sentences
    • The bright lights dimmed, the piano's final note died down, and it was over.
    • As the star got larger and larger and almost unbearably bright, the light started to dim, fading away behind them.
    • When you come through the front door the lights have dimmed, the curtains closed and music is playing to welcome you home.
  • 1.1 [with object] Lower (a vehicle’s headlights) from high to low beam: (as adjective dimmed) the car moved slowly, its headlights dimmed
    More example sentences
    • This year, it plans to introduce automatic dimming headlights.
    • They didn't dim their lights; hardly any driver that passed by dimmed his lights.
    • Its headlights dimmed down, shutting off, and the driver guided the vehicle ahead.
    turn down, lower, soften, subdue, mute
    literary bedim
  • 1.2Make or become less intense or favorable: [with object]: the difficulty in sleeping couldn’t dim her happiness [no object]: the company’s prospects have dimmed
    More example sentences
    • Conversely, after the Chinese intervention, support declined, based on dimming prospects for gains beyond the status quo.
    • You've allowed the passage of time to dim the intensity of the moment and your rational faculty to devalue what is no longer integral to your life.
    • The impact of a year of low-intensity warfare on public opinion on both sides of the divide has further dimmed the prospects for peace.
    fade, become vague, dwindle, blur
  • 1.3Make or become less able to see clearly: [with object]: your sight is dimmed [no object]: his eyes dimmed
    More example sentences
    • His sight was dimming and his hearing had nearly disappeared.
    • Jonathon's sight was dimming; it was swimming in blood and useless tears.
    • If one continues to look at it, one's sight becomes dazzled and dimmed, so it is preferable to look at its image in water and avoid a direct look at it, because the intensity of its rays is thereby reduced.


take a dim view of

Regard with disapproval.
More example sentences
  • If information is received and no action is taken the force would take a dim view of that.
  • Residents view street cleaning as a fundamental job of their council, and will take a dim view of any further deterioration of the service.
  • As a former chairman I would take a dim view of not being allowed into a dressing room.



More example sentences
  • I'm dimly aware that this is vaguely shameful, but I really only have one thing on my mind.
  • One night, four men tumbled into the stall, dimly lit by a flickering oil lamp.
  • Did my father dimly perceive this when he took us on those detours?


More example sentences
  • From the dimmish light of the hallway, I opened my room's door to a small entryway and admired the hardwood floors.
  • Notably, you'd not want to use it dimmish light, when people are moving quickly, without flash.


More example sentences
  • See an eye care professional if you have any loss or dimness of vision, pain, fluid coming from the eye, double vision, redness, or swelling.
  • What the dimness suggests here is the fading of one age and the approach of a new one, a cultural agon crystallized in these two men.
  • We hurried a few steps down the hall, then stopped, our eyes adjusting to the dimness.


Old English dim, dimm, of Germanic origin; related to German dialect timmer.

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