\ ō-ˈbēs How to pronounce obese (audio) \

Definition of obese

: having excessive body fat

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for obese


blubbery, chubby, corpulent, fat, fleshy, full, gross, lardy, overweight, plump, podgy [chiefly British], portly, pudgy, replete, roly-poly, rotund, round, tubby


lean, skinny, slender, slim, spare, thin

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of obese in a Sentence

providing medical treatment for obese patients the basset hound was so obese that its stomach touched the floor

Recent Examples on the Web

Nearly one in three children is obese or overweight. Caryn M. Sullivan, Twin Cities, "Caryn Sullivan: The real magic at The Fort happens in the afternoon," 28 July 2019 Loneliness takes a physical toll, according to researchers, and is worse for longevity than being obese or physically inactive. Kelsey Gee, WSJ, "Houseparty Chat App Co-Founder Sees ‘Loneliness Epidemic’ on the Horizon," 22 May 2019 Giacobini and colleagues initially gathered blood samples from four groups of pregnant women in their second trimester: obese and nonobese women without PCOS, and obese and nonobese women with PCOS. Jennifer Couzin-frankel, Science | AAAS, "Scientists may be closer to understanding a mysterious but common cause of female infertility," 14 May 2018 Klein, for instance, has tested whether removing body fat with liposuction or surgically excising visceral fat in obese patients would reduce risk factors for diabetes and heart disease. Claudia Wallis, Scientific American, "The Belly Fat Battle," 1 May 2018 In their article, The New York Times points out that some medical equipment is often not able to accommodate some obese patients. Brittney Mcnamara, Teen Vogue, "People Described Fat-Shaming By Doctors," 19 Apr. 2018 The risks were highest for women with no history of heart disease or diabetes, and women who were obese or African-American. Sandee Lamotte, CNN, "Want to live longer? You may want to ditch these drinks," 3 Sep. 2019 Pemex workers who are overweight or obese and decrease their weight by 10% annually will also get the bonus, and there are metrics for blood glucose levels, blood pressure and cholesterol, according to the contract seen by Bloomberg. Amy Stillman / Bloomberg, Time, "At Mexican Oil Company, Workers Offered 'Health Incentive' Bonus For Weight Loss, Trim Waistlines," 2 Aug. 2019 The share of American adults classified as obese increased from 13 percent in 1960 to almost 40 percent in 2016. Marlon Graf, STAT, "Chronic diseases are taxing our health care system and our economy," 31 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'obese.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of obese

1651, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for obese

borrowed from Latin obēsus "fat, stout," past participle of *obedere, perhaps meaning originally "to gnaw," from ob- "against" + edere "to eat" — more at ob-, eat entry 1

Note: Etymologically obēsus should mean "thin, emaciated," if the sense of the unattested verb *obedere was "to eat away, gnaw," as implied by its components. The Roman writer Aulus Gellius (Noctes Atticae 19.7.3) pointed this out and adduced a passage from the poet Laevius (who is known only from a handful of quotations from his works made by other authors), where the word apparently has the meaning "wasted." Presumably the word went reanalysis after the extinction of the verb. The grammarian Pompeius Festus construed the derivation phrasally as "made fat as if as a result of eating" ("pinguis quasi ob edendum factus").

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about obese

Dictionary Entries near obese








Statistics for obese

Last Updated

7 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for obese

The first known use of obese was in 1651

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for obese



English Language Learners Definition of obese

: very fat : fat in a way that is unhealthy


\ ō-ˈbēs How to pronounce obese (audio) \

Kids Definition of obese

: very fat

Other Words from obese

obesity \ ō-​ˈbē-​sə-​tē \ noun


\ ō-ˈbēs How to pronounce obese (audio) \

Medical Definition of obese

: having excessive body fat : affected by obesity

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on obese

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with obese

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for obese

Spanish Central: Translation of obese

Nglish: Translation of obese for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of obese for Arabic Speakers

Comments on obese

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


a topic to which one constantly reverts

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Where in the World? A Quiz

  • peter bruegel tower of babel painting
  • What language does pajama come from?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!