obit·​u·​ary | \ ə-ˈbi-chə-ˌwer-ē, ō-, -ˈbi-chə-rē\
plural obituaries

Definition of obituary

: a notice of a person's death usually with a short biographical account

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from obituary

obituarist \ ə-​ˈbi-​chə-​ˌwər-​ist , -​ˈbi-​chə-​rist, ō-​ \ noun
obituary adjective

Synonyms for obituary


necrology, obit

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of obituary in a Sentence

I read her obituary in the newspaper. several obituaries for Herman Melville portrayed him as an obscure, largely forgotten author

Recent Examples on the Web

My mind floats to obituaries, not of great adventurers, but of history’s forgotten idiots. James Lynch, Popular Mechanics, "What Happened When I Rode a Boosted Board From New York to Philadelphia," 27 Dec. 2018 That led to a job writing obituaries and later crime news for the paper. James R. Hagerty, WSJ, "Jim Rogers, Head of a Coal-Burning Utility, Crusaded Against Global Warming," 20 Dec. 2018 Bush, as many obituary writers have pointed out, is more polished than Trump. Anna North, Vox, "What George H.W. Bush’s presidency says about Trump and Kavanaugh," 3 Dec. 2018 An obituary notes that 43-year-old Nicolette Green will be buried Wednesday in Mill Hall, Pennsylvania. Fox News, "The Latest: Red Cross says housing could be hard to find," 25 Sep. 2018 According to his obituary posted on the Atchley Funeral Home's website, the Sevierville, Tennessee, resident died Thursday, December 6, 2018. Taysha Murtaugh, Country Living, "Dolly Parton's Youngest Brother Floyd Parton Has Died at 61," 11 Dec. 2018 Please express condolences and view his obituary at Rooney David, 75, of New Smyrna Beach, died Thursday, January 25, 2018. Orlando Sentinel,, "Deaths in Central Florida: 1/28," 28 Jan. 2018 In her obituary on Dignity Memorial highlighted her passion for animals. Colleen Kratofil,, "Andy and David Spade Arrive at Kate Spade's Funeral Together in Her Hometown of Kansas City," 21 June 2018 In her obituary, the family asked for donations to St. John's in lieu of flowers. Jane Wester, charlotteobserver, "Funeral scheduled for UNC Charlotte student killed in party bus fall | Charlotte Observer," 7 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'obituary.' 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 obituary

1703, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for obituary

borrowed from New Latin obituārium, noun derivative of Medieval Latin obituārius "of death, recording records or dates of death," from Latin obitu-, stem of obitus "death" + -ārius -ary entry 2 — more at obit

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about obituary

Dictionary Entries near obituary

obiter dictum







Statistics for obituary

Last Updated

14 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for obituary

The first known use of obituary was in 1703

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for obituary



English Language Learners Definition of obituary

: an article in a newspaper about the life of someone who has died recently


obit·​u·​ary | \ ō-ˈbi-chə-ˌwer-ē \
plural obituaries

Kids Definition of obituary

: a notice of a person's death (as in a newspaper)

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on obituary

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with obituary

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for obituary

Spanish Central: Translation of obituary

Nglish: Translation of obituary for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of obituary for Arabic Speakers

Comments on obituary

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


tremendous in size, volume, or degree

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three-bears-two-of-them-look-like-theyre-whispering-to-a-third-bear-who-looks-chuffed-to-be-the-center-of-attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


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!