From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 [gcide]:
Usage: Darkness arises from a total, and dimness from a partial, want of light. A thing is obscure when so overclouded or covered as not to be easily perceived. As tha shade or obscurity increases, it deepens into gloom. What is dark is hidden from view; what is obscure is difficult to perceive or penetrate; the eye becomes dim with age; an impending storm fills the atmosphere with gloom. When taken figuratively, these words have a like use; as, the darkness of ignorance; dimness of discernment; obscurity of reasoning; gloom of superstition.
From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) [wn]:
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