Word of the Day: obfuscation


The word obfuscation has appeared in 36 articles on NYTimes.com in the past year, including on Nov. 25 in “Everybody Knows Flo From Progressive. Who Is Stephanie Courtney?” by Caity Weaver:

You know how sometimes, in a commercial, there is a scene that takes place in a house? How many houses do you suppose the commercial auteurs need to borrow to pull that off? “Zero — that’s what movie magic is for”? Perhaps, “One”? In fact, on a gray morning this past spring, the people who make the Progressive commercials commandeered a whole block of houses, to shoot scenes inside one family’s appealingly nondescript home. “There are specific neighborhoods in L.A. that don’t look like L.A.,” Sean McBride told me. “If you start paying attention,” he said, you will notice the same homes reused “constantly.”

… If cars are present, their manufacturer logos are covered with abstract shapes of similar dimensions, their license plates, upon inspection, cursively reading not “California” but “Drive Safely.” This obfuscation process is called “Greeking,” as in, “It’s all Greek to me” (as in, “I can’t tell what that says, but it definitely doesn’t say Kia Optima, for legal reasons”).

Can you correctly use the word obfuscation in a sentence?

Based on the definition and example provided, write a sentence using today’s Word of the Day and share it as a comment on this article. It is most important that your sentence makes sense and demonstrates that you understand the word’s definition, but we also encourage you to be creative and have fun.

If you want a better idea of how obfuscation can be used in a sentence, read these usage examples on Vocabulary.com. You can also visit this guide to learn how to use IPA symbols to show how different words are pronounced.

If you enjoy this daily challenge, try our vocabulary quizzes.


Students ages 13 and older in the United States and the United Kingdom, and 16 and older elsewhere, can comment. All comments are moderated by the Learning Network staff.

The Word of the Day is provided by Vocabulary.com. Learn more and see usage examples across a range of subjects in the Vocabulary.com Dictionary. See every Word of the Day in this column.



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