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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


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

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

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

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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

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.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017


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!
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

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, to, view
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
Despite the film's overall dimness, cinematographers Seamus McGarvey and John Mathieson offer a number of striking, oil-painterly canvasses, and Jacqueline Durran's wild costumes are all flamboyantly eye-catching, even if Tiger Lily's getup looks a bit like the result of an explosion at the Etsy distribution center.
Twist fits into a standard-size light socket and contains white and yellow LEDs, the brightness or dimness of which coordinates wirelessly with other Twist bulbs that contain just LEDs.
He was a fan, recommending its use for headaches, vertigo, deafness, epilepsy, asthma, coughs, venomous bites, dimness of sight, spitting of blood, shortness of breath, jaundice, urinary complaints, women's troubles and melancholy.
Instead, she has a tendency to tell her story in a summary travelogue fashion, with people and places and events--even the succession of disappointing boyfriends-flitting by at such a rapid clip as to blur to dimness." SCOTT ANDERSON
This is done by locating pulsing stars, called Cepheid variables, whose cycles of intensity and dimness indicate their brightness.
Dimness veiled the scarred parquet, a DJ clawing songs as
Ms Francis had used a night light to carry out an examination which the panel was told was not appropriate because the dimness would not allow for an accurate observation and assessment.
The diffuse sunlight from the exhibition hall's skylights provides the only source of illumination, bypassing vertical works almost completely and leaving viewers to peer at the work on show in a dimness that poses an advantage for video works but detracts severely from the rest of the show.
Like Robin in Hawthorne's "My Kinsman, Major Molineaux," Lewis runs smack up against the dimness of his perception of the world and the slightness of his self-awareness.
For during the weeks that the series has run, my blood pressure has soared uncontrollably at the naked greed, selfishness, aggression and, above all, the dimness that has been flaunted by competitors as though it were a badge of honour.
As it is almost impossible to remove all the lenticular epithelial cells during cataract extraction surgery1, some remaining anterior epithelial cells may migrate on posterior capsule leading to its opacification and cause dimness of vision according to the thickness of capsule.
CASE HISTORY: A 25yr old man presented with sudden dimness of vision after walking for a long distance.
Without losing sight of the chronology, Gregory deftly guided visitors between exposure and opacity, and from crepuscular dimness to the glaring light of tragedy, beginning with the "Sex" series and ending with the more broadly circulated images related to the AIDS crisis that Weil took between 1985 and 1992.
Lighting designer Jason Hand did splendid work to establish the scene in subterranean dimness, befitting the black arts Hoffmann is exposed to in the scene.