obit·​u·​ary | \ ə-ˈbi-chə-ˌwer-ē How to pronounce obituary (audio) , 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 How to pronounce obituarist (audio) , -​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

At the time of his death, Rivera-Lopez was an experienced helicopter pilot and combat veteran who had survived numerous deployments in the U.S. war on terror, according to an Army obituary. Aaron Gregg, Washington Post, "Family of Army helicopter pilot sues Lockheed Martin over 2017 Black Hawk crash," 30 Aug. 2019 Boston University mourned Erin Edwards, a member of the Class of 2021, in an obituary posted on BU Today Thursday night. Sofia Saric,, "BU student killed in apparent murder-suicide in Georgia," 23 Aug. 2019 Ruiz, who was also known as Rosie Vivas, died in Florida on July 8, according to an obituary posted on the Dignity Memorial website. Ryan Gaydos, Fox News, "Rosie Ruiz, who cheated to win Boston Marathon, dies at 66," 10 Aug. 2019 Rosie Ruiz, famous for cheating in the 1980 Boston Marathon, has died at the age of 66, according to an obituary posted on the site of a West Palm Beach funeral home. Jenna West,, "Rosie Ruiz, 1980 Boston Marathon Cheat, Dies at Age 66," 8 Aug. 2019 Italian director Ermanno Olmi, who died in 2018, was mostly self-taught, according to an obituary that ran in The New York Times. Greg Burnett,, "Cleveland Cinematheque honors Italian director Ermanno Olmi in a seven-part film series," 4 July 2019 According to an obituary, memorial services for Hill will be held Saturday. Kaitlyn Schwers, kansascity, "He was a wanted man. Cops shot woman who reported him — now he's charged with murder | The Kansas City Star," 11 May 2018 There are not just more truthful but also more interesting ways of writing an obituary for the American Empire. David Rieff, Harper's magazine, "An American in the Treetops," 19 Aug. 2019 Brian Koch, owner of the funeral home, told USA TODAY that the family wrote the obituaries for both their children, and that Connor's was removed at their request. Doug Stanglin, USA TODAY, "Family of Dayton gunman apologizes for writing 'insensitive' obituary," 14 Aug. 2019

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

17 Sep 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 How to pronounce obituary (audio) \
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).


authorized for issue (as a bond)

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

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!