- a person or thing that dims.
- Also called dimmer switch. a rheostat or similar device by which the intensity of an electric light may be varied.
- the low-beam headlights of an automobile or truck.
- the small, parking lights of an automobile.
adjective, dim·mer, dim·mest.
- not bright; obscure from lack of light or emitted light: a dim room; a dim flashlight.
- not seen clearly or in detail; indistinct: a dim object in the distance.
- not clear to the mind; vague: a dim idea.
- not brilliant; dull in luster: a dim color.
- not clear or distinct to the senses; faint: a dim sound.
- not seeing clearly: eyes dim with tears.
- tending to be unfavorable; not likely to happen, succeed, be favorable, etc.: a dim chance of winning.
- not understanding clearly.
- rather stupid; dim-witted.
verb (used with object), dimmed, dim·ming.
- to make dim or dimmer.
- to switch (the headlights of a vehicle) from the high to the low beam.
verb (used without object), dimmed, dim·ming.
- to become or grow dim or dimmer.
- dim out, (in wartime) to reduce the night illumination of (a city, ship, etc.) to make it less visible from the air or sea, as a protection from enemy aircraft or ships.
- take a dim view of, to regard with disapproval, skepticism, or dismay: Her mother takes a dim view of her choice of friends.
- a device, such as a rheostat, for varying the current through an electric light and thus changing the illumination
- (often plural) US
- a dipped headlight on a road vehicle
- a parking light on a car
adjective dimmer or dimmest
- badly illuminateda dim room
- not clearly seen; indistinct; fainta dim shape
- having weak or indistinct visioneyes dim with tears
- lacking in understanding; mentally dull
- not clear in the mind; obscurea dim memory
- lacking in brilliance, brightness, or lustrea dim colour
- tending to be unfavourable; gloomy or disapproving (esp in the phrase take a dim view)
verb dims, dimming or dimmed
- to become or cause to become dim
- (tr) to cause to seem less bright, as by comparison
- US and Canadian (tr) to switch (car headlights) from the main to the lower beamAlso called (in Britain and certain other countries): dip
1822, agent noun from dim (v.). Of mechanisms for reducing the brightness of electric lights, from 1905.
c.1200, perhaps in Old English, from dim (adj.). Related: Dimmed; dimming.
Old English dimm “dark, gloomy, obscure,” from Proto-Germanic *dimbaz (cf. Old Norse dimmr, Old Frisian dim, Old High German timber “dark, black, somber”). Not known outside Germanic. Slang sense of “stupid” is from 1892. Related: Dimly; dimness.
see take a dim view.