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dim bulb

An unintelligent or slow-witted person. I explained this to you not once, but three times! Are you just a dim bulb, or what?
See also: bulb, dim

dim down

To lessen something in brightness, as of a light. A noun or pronoun can be used between "dim" and "down." I dimmed down the lights so that we could have a romantic candlelit dinner. We knew that the play was about to start once the lights dimmed down.
See also: dim, down

dim out

To darken completely after a period of dimming. We were all disappointed when the lights dimmed out in the middle of our party.
See also: dim, out

dim up

To cause dim lights to become brighter. We knew that the band wasn't going to play another encore when the lights in the arena dimmed up.
See also: dim, up

take a dim view (of someone or something)

To view (something) unfavorably; to disapprove (of something). I'm afraid the administration is taking a dim view of that legislation, so it will most likely get vetoed. Even though you might think it's a minor offense, the authorities still take a dim view. So far the boss has taken a dim view of the new intern.
See also: dim, someone, take, view

the (dim and) distant past

A time long ago in the past. It's easy to forget that, in the dim and distant past, these giant cities used to be nothing but fields and marshes. He's just a washed-up old drunk now, but he used to be a huge star in the distant past.
See also: distant, past

take a poor view of (someone or something)

To view someone or something unfavorably; to disapprove of someone or something. I'm afraid the administration is taking a poor view of that legislation, so it will most likely get vetoed. The authorities take a poor view of any kind of fraud, even what you might think is a minor offense. So far the boss has taken a poor view of the new intern.
See also: of, poor, take, view


One who is stupid or foolish. Geez, he keeps pulling on a door that's clearly marked "push"—what a dimwit.

dim down

[for the lights] to go dim. The lights dimmed down for a few seconds. Open the stage curtain when the house lights dim down.
See also: dim, down

dim out

[for a light] to grow dim and go out altogether. The lights dimmed out twice during the storm. I was afraid that the lights would dim out completely.
See also: dim, out

dim something down

to make lights dim; to use a dimmer to make the lights dimmer. Why don't you dim the lights down and put on some music? Let me dim down the lights and put on some music.
See also: dim, down

dim something up

to use a dimmer to make the lights brighter. (Theatrical. A dimmer is a rheostat, variable transformer, or something similar. The expression, a seeming contradiction, is the opposite of dim something down.) As the curtain rose, the electrician dimmed the lights up on a beautiful scene. You dimmed up the lights too fast.
See also: dim, up

take a dim view of someone or something

to disapprove of someone or something. Of all the boys, the teacher likes Dave the least. She takes a dim view of him. I take a dim view of that law.
See also: dim, of, take, view

take a dim view of

Regard disapprovingly, as in I take a dim view of meeting every single week. This idiom, which uses dim in the sense of "unfavorable," was first recorded in 1947
See also: dim, of, take, view

take a dim view of something


take a poor view of something

COMMON If you take a dim view of something or take a poor view of it, you disapprove of it. The French take a dim view of anyone who only has a snack at lunchtime. Fellow critics took a poor view of a critic who reviewed Paramount films and accepted a fee from the studio.
See also: dim, of, something, take, view

take a dim (or poor) view of

regard someone or something with disapproval.
1996 C. J. Stone Fierce Dancing He says that…the Home Office…take a dim view of lifers talking to the press.
See also: dim, of, take, view

take a dim/poor ˈview of somebody/something

disagree with or dislike somebody/something: Farmers tend to take a dim view of the public walking over their land.The judge said he took a very poor view of their behaviour.


n. the evening; the night. (Streets.) Where’ll you be this dim?

dim bulb

n. a dull person; a stupid person. George seems to be a dim bulb, but he’s a straight-A student.
See also: bulb, dim


n. an oaf; a dullard. (Also a rude term of address.) Oh, Dave, you can be such a dimwit!

take a dim view of, to

To disapprove. Today dim is only rarely used in the sense of “unfavorable,” as it is here. This metaphor dates from the mid-twentieth century. H. Grieve used it in Something in Country Air (1947): “Mr. Everard took a dim view of his youngest niece.”
See also: dim, take, view
References in periodicals archive ?
I have learned much, grown much, and still see only dimly.
The lights faded up dimly, casting an amber glow on his nearly nude body.
While the Hubble Space Telescope peers deep into the universe and brings us closer to dimly visible objects, the satellites Chandra and Newton are observing radiation that we cannot see--the X rays that carry information about space objects.
He confronted the intruder in a dimly lit room and told him to freeze.
We cannot now say what the architecture of the future will be like, but it is quite clear that metal components, lightweight, capable of, instant adaption and able to respond quickly to the moods of climate, are vital elements of new ways of building that we can only dimly comprehend.
There is little in the way of historical drama or vivid detail; the workers who are its subject are glimpsed only dimly, as faceless abstractions whose motives and perceptions must be inferred from their collective behavior.
Matt, of Park Road, Kenilworth, died in the collision on the dimly lit A452 near Chesford, Kenilworth, in the early hours of Friday, February 1.
The grounds for Misiano's assessment are clear enough in sociopolitical terms: Forcibly disconnected from their cultural traditions at the dawn of the Soviet era, people in these territories found themselves, at the collapse of the USSR more than a decade ago, victims of a kind of double jeopardy, caught between an indigenous past they could only dimly remember and a putative future that had ceased to exist.
Although an opera chorus is trained to move around, Macdonald oddly chose to keep his chorus static, dividing it into two sections, dimly visible behind scrim panels.
Stepping through a dimly lit lobby, we climbed a grand circular staircase--only to be greeted by an empty banquet room with a soccer match playing on a big-screen TV.
A very shiny black floor melts into black walls enlivened by illuminated bands of small colour slides: views of Nouvel buildings, arranged in no particular order, to illustrate the range and diversity of his built oeuvre to date, complemented by sequences of larger images projected very dimly overhead.
Before entering the dimly lit chapel, I stood on a windy bluff, high above the Mississippi in the sharp cold, amazed at the array of stars sparkling overhead.
Perhaps the majority of fish and squid in the dimly lit water 200 to 1,000 meters below the surface use similar luminescence to disguise their shapes, Widder explains.