Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

The opposite for veil is unveil but what is the opposite for obfuscate? Is it unobfuscate?

share|improve this question

closed as general reference by MετάEd, cornbread ninja 麵包忍者, RegDwigнt Jun 25 '12 at 15:17

This question is too basic; it can be definitively and permanently answered by a single link to a standard internet reference source designed specifically to find that type of information.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

    
google [ obfuscate antonym ] . –  MετάEd Jun 25 '12 at 15:04
    
@MetaEd, just tried it; it leads back here... –  Brian Hooper Jun 25 '12 at 15:12
1  
In the first page of the search results: Simplify, streamline; disentangle, straighten (out), undo (M-W). To deliberately make less confusing: explain, simplify (Wiktionary). Plus links to other sources of antonyms for the word. –  MετάEd Jun 25 '12 at 15:17
    
@MetaEd: I wasn't searching for a bunch of similar words but the exact opposite. –  ceving Jul 13 '12 at 16:46
    
The reason you are not getting that kind of answer is that it's not what you asked. If you are wanting to know which prefix is most commonly used to reverse the meaning of obfuscate, try editing the question to say that. Cheers, Edward –  MετάEd Jul 13 '12 at 19:54

2 Answers 2

up vote 9 down vote accepted

If we're talking about obfuscated computer code then the antonym used when translating it back to normal is deobfuscate.

None of the "general references" appear to include that specialised use.

share|improve this answer

I was going to suggest clarify, but I've learned that obfuscate comes from the Latin obfuscatus meaning to darken, I'm going to suggest illuminate:

: to make clear : elucidate

EDIT: In light of Jay's comment (pun intended), I bring you clarify:

2: to free of confusion needs time to clarify his thoughts

3: to make understandable clarify a subject

share|improve this answer
    
I think your original suggestion of "clarify" is better. Regardless of Latin origins, in English the word does not mean to turn off the lights in the literal sense. True, "illuminate" can also be used to mean "clarify" in a metaphorical sense. But it's less clear ... or should I say more obfuscated? –  Jay Jun 25 '12 at 16:26

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.