Pronounced: PRO-buh-tiv (alt: PRAHB-uh-tiv), adj
Notes: This word might be what you think it is
The word obscurantism means
- opposition to the increase and spread of knowledge
- deliberate obscurity or evasion of clarity
Our word came into English in the mid-1800s
Background / Comments
Our word makes me think of obfuscation (making things hard to understand). There is, or has been an “obfuscated C code contest” in which programmers compete to make the simplest things look obscure and complicated. After writing the previous sentence, I looked it up and it is still an existing contest; it had its beginnings around 1984. More information can be found online. Anyway, our word comes either from the French word obscurantisme or the German word Obscurantismus. These come from the Latin word obscūrant-, which is a stem of obscūrāns, the present participle of obscūrāre (to darken).