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From be- +‎ cloud.


becloud (third-person singular simple present beclouds, present participle beclouding, simple past and past participle beclouded)

  1. (transitive) To cause to become obscure or muddled.
    • 1688, Thomas Tryon, Monthly Observations for the Preserving of Health with a Long and Comfortable Life, London, p. 9,[1]
      [] Intemperance and Superfluity beclouds the Mind, dulls the edge of the Apprehension, and brings upon it an unmanly Languor, bearing down all the noble Faculties of the Soul into Ignorance and Stupidity []
    • 1799, Mary Ann Radcliffe, The Female Advocate, London: Vernor & Hood, “The Story of Fidelia,” p. 164,[2]
      [] conscience was not to be perverted by the sophistry which had beclouded my reason.
    • 1957, Muriel Spark, The Comforters, New York: Avon, 1965, Part 2, Chapter 8, p. 196,[3]
      She thought of Eleanor with her habit of giving spontaneous utterance to stray and irresponsible accusations. Caroline found the true facts everywhere beclouded.
  2. (transitive, usually passive) To cover or surround with clouds.
    • 1847, Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre, Chapter 2,[4]
      Daylight began to forsake the red-room; it was past four o’clock, and the beclouded afternoon was tending to drear twilight.
    • 1903, Joseph Conrad and Ford Madox Hueffer, Romance, London: Smith, Elder & Co., Part 4, Chapter 10, p. 366,[5]
      A long sun ray shot to the zenith from the beclouded west, crossing obliquely in a faint red bar the purple band of sky above the ravine.
  3. (transitive, figuratively) To cast in a negative light, cast a pall over, darken.
    • 1649, Francis Quarles, The Virgin Widow, London: R. Royston, Act I, p. 8,[6]
      What Fury has possest thee? What strange fit
      Usurps thy patience, and beclouds thy brow?
    • 1856, Abraham Lincoln, speech given on 19 May, 1856 in Speeches and Letters of Abraham Lincoln, London: J.M. Dent, 1907, p. 46,[7]
      We live in the midst of alarms; anxiety beclouds the future; we expect some new disaster with each newspaper we read.
    • 1910, Saki, “Blood-Feud of Toad-Water” in Reginald in Russia and Other Sketches, London: Methuen, p. 35,[8]
      From the shrill triumph with which his name was dragged in, his crime must have been pilfering from a cathedral at least, but as both remembrancers were speaking at once it was difficult to distinguish his infamy from the scandal which beclouded the memory of Mrs. Saunders’ brother’s wife’s mother—who may have been a regicide, and was certainly not a nice person as Mrs. Crick painted her.