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adjective \ō-ˈblēk, ə-, -ˈblīk; military usually ī\

Simple Definition of oblique

  • : not direct : not stated directly

  • of a line : having a slanting direction or position : neither perpendicular nor parallel

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of oblique

  1. 1 a :  neither perpendicular nor parallel :  inclined b :  having the axis not perpendicular to the base <an oblique cone> c :  having no right angle <an oblique triangle>

  2. 2 a :  not straightforward :  indirect; also :  obscure b :  devious, underhanded

  3. 3 :  situated at an angle and having one end not inserted on bone <oblique muscles>

  4. 4 :  taken from an airplane with the camera directed horizontally or diagonally downward <an oblique photograph>

obliquely adverb
obliqueness noun

Examples of oblique in a sentence

  1. Harden … , who missed a month with a strained left oblique muscle, has become one of the game's most intimidating starters in just his second full big league season. —Albert Chen, Sports Illustrated, 8 Aug. 2005

  2. They were painted in oil paints on old-fashioned canvas. But the manner of their portrayal was oblique and enigmatic, with an element of hide-and-seek in which hiding most often won out over seeking. —John Russell, New York Times Magazine, 11 Nov. 1990

  3. The driveway met the street at an oblique angle, and a jutting corner of the customer's cinderblock building, a large power pole, and a berm of trash (pallets, pails, chunks of wood) made it a dogleg affair. —Bryan Di Salvatore, New Yorker, 12 Sept. 1988

  4. The short lines of the letter k are oblique lines.

  5. <gave the eavesdropper an oblique glance out of the corner of her eye>

Origin of oblique

Middle English oblike, from Latin obliquus

First Known Use: 15th century

Other Mathematics and Statistics Terms



noun \ō-ˈblēk, ə-, -ˈblīk; military usually ī\

Definition of oblique

  1. 1 :  something (as a line) that is oblique

  2. 2 :  any of several oblique muscles; especially :  any of the thin flat muscles forming the middle and outer layers of the lateral walls of the abdomen

Examples of oblique in a sentence

  1. We each received a list of every muscle group (back, inner thighs, outer thighs, quads, biceps, obliques, upper abs, etc.), with detailed comments on which ones we needed to change. —anonymous, Cosmopolitan, November 2007

  2. He hammered on my back with both fists, but I had a lot of muscle layer to protect back there. Twenty years of working on the lats and the lateral obliques. I got hold of his shirtfront with both hands and pulled him away from the wall and slammed him back up against it. —Robert B. Parker, Mortal Stakes, 1975

Origin of oblique

(see 1oblique)

First Known Use: circa 1608

Other Mathematics and Statistics Terms



adverb \ō-ˈblēk, ə-, -ˈblīk; military usually ī\

Definition of oblique

  1. :  at a 45 degree angle <to the right oblique, march>

Origin of oblique

(see 1oblique)

First Known Use: 1687

OBLIQUE Defined for Kids


adjective \ō-ˈblēk, ə-\

Definition of oblique for Students

  1. :  having a slanting position or direction :  neither perpendicular nor parallel

obliquely adverb

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up oblique? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a division or portion of a pool or whole

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