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adjective ob·tuse \äb-ˈtüs, əb-, -ˈtyüs\

: stupid or unintelligent : not able to think clearly or to understand what is obvious or simple

mathematics : not ending in a sharp point : measuring between 90 degrees and 180 degrees


Full Definition of OBTUSE

a :  not pointed or acute :  blunt
b (1) of an angle :  exceeding 90 degrees but less than 180 degrees
(2) :  having an obtuse angle <an obtuse triangle> — see triangle illustration
c of a leaf :  rounded at the free end
a :  lacking sharpness or quickness of sensibility or intellect :  insensitive, stupid
b :  difficult to comprehend :  not clear or precise in thought or expression
ob·tuse·ly adverb
ob·tuse·ness noun

Examples of OBTUSE

  1. He is too obtuse to take a hint.
  2. <obtuse scissors designed so that young users will not cut themselves>
  3. Murdoch's art, like all good art, is highly structured and controlled—a house neat and clean enough to satisfy the most morally obtuse of her upper-class British characters. —Martha C. Nussbaum, New Republic, 31 Dec. 2001 & 7 Jan. 2002

Origin of OBTUSE

Middle English, from Latin obtusus blunt, dull, from past participle of obtundere to beat against, blunt, from ob- against + tundere to beat — more at ob-, contusion
First Known Use: 15th century

Synonym Discussion of OBTUSE

dull, blunt, obtuse mean not sharp, keen, or acute. dull suggests a lack or loss of keenness, zest, or pungency <a dull pain> <a dull mind>. blunt suggests an inherent lack of sharpness or quickness of feeling or perception <a person of blunt sensibility>. obtuse implies such bluntness as makes one insensitive in perception or imagination <too obtuse to take the hint>.

Other Mathematics and Statistics Terms

abscissa, denominator, divisor, equilateral, exponent, hypotenuse, logarithm, oblique, radii, rhomb
OBTUSEST Defined for Kids


adjective ob·tuse \äb-ˈtüs, -ˈtyüs\

Definition of OBTUSE for Kids

:  measuring more than a right angle
:  not able to understand something obvious
Medical Dictionary


adjective ob·tuse \äb-ˈt(y)üs, əb-\

Medical Definition of OBTUSE

:  lacking sharpness or quickness of sensibility or intellect
:  not pointed or acute <obtuse pain>


Next Word in the Dictionary: obtuse–angledPrevious Word in the Dictionary: obturbinateAll Words Near: obtuse
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