\ ō-ˈblēk How to pronounce oblique (audio) , ə-, -ˈblīk; military usually -ˈblīk How to pronounce oblique (audio) \

Definition of oblique

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : neither perpendicular nor parallel : inclined oblique lines
b : having the axis not perpendicular to the base an oblique cone
c : having no right angle an oblique triangle
2a : not straightforward : indirect In her speech she made only oblique references to the scandal. also : obscure … much of what there is to see is nuanced and oblique—a shadow of a shadow of a shadow. New Yorker
b : devious, underhanded … the open, above-board fury of his mind coagulated, thickened, and sunk to a dull, evil hatred, a wicked, oblique malevolence.— Frank Norris
3 : situated at an angle and having one end not inserted on bone oblique muscles
4 : taken from an airplane with the camera directed horizontally or diagonally downward an oblique photograph



Definition of oblique (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : something (such as a line) that is oblique
2 or oblique muscle : 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



Definition of oblique (Entry 3 of 3)

: at a 45 degree angle To the right oblique, march!

Other Words from oblique


obliquely adverb
obliqueness noun

Examples of oblique in a Sentence

Adjective 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 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 The short lines of the letter “k” are oblique lines. gave the eavesdropper an oblique glance out of the corner of her eye Noun 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 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 See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Jonah Heim homered and Jon Gray (7-7) allowed two runs and two hits over 4⅓ innings in his second start for Texas since returning from a left oblique strain. Wire Reports, BostonGlobe.com, 17 Sep. 2022 Around the horn Right-hander Tyler Wells threw a side session Tuesday in Aberdeen, the latest step in his rehab process from a Grade 1 oblique strain suffered in July. Andy Kostka, Baltimore Sun, 30 Aug. 2022 Brandon Crawford is back, but catcher Curt Casali will potentially miss a month or more with a Grade 2 oblique strain. Susan Slusser, San Francisco Chronicle, 5 July 2022 Brosseau had been sidelined since suffering a right oblique injury on August 22 in Los Angeles. Curt Hogg, Journal Sentinel, 8 Sep. 2022 Like Hummel, Daulton Varsho was drafted as a catcher and started there in May and June when Kelly was out with an oblique injury. Theo Mackie, The Arizona Republic, 10 Aug. 2022 The three-time Cy Young Award winner produced his fourth scoreless outing this season and third since returning from an oblique injury July 5. Larry Fleisher, ajc, 7 Aug. 2022 Outfielder Jay Allen, the No. 30 overall pick in 2021, returned from an oblique injury. Bobby Nightengale, The Enquirer, 22 July 2022 The Tigers demoted him to Toledo on May 9, but not long after, a right oblique strain shelved him for a couple weeks. Evan Petzold, Detroit Free Press, 4 July 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Moncada hasn’t played this season because of a strained oblique but should return this coming week. Peter Abraham, BostonGlobe.com, 7 May 2022 Rays opener Matt Wiser, who pitched only the first inning, was followed by Josh Fleming, who gave up four runs in three innings before leaving the game with right oblique tightness. Dick Scanlon, Hartford Courant, 12 July 2022 Lubitsch’s reliance on the oblique, the elliptical, and the unsaid leads the audience to suspect innuendo where none may have been intended. Alex Ross, The New Yorker, 8 Aug. 2022 Mets pitcher Max Scherzer is expected to miss six to eight weeks with a strained oblique muscle in his left side, the latest blow to a New York pitching staff already missing ace Jacob deGrom. Creg Stephenson | Cstephenson@al.com, al, 20 May 2022 Scherzer, who injured his left oblique while pitching against St. Louis on May 18, returned to New York after rehabbing in Florida and threw in the outfield at Citi Field prior to Tuesday night’s series opener against Milwaukee. Stefan Bondy, Hartford Courant, 14 June 2022 The outing against the Hartford Yard Goats was pushed back a day from Tuesday, but New York manager Buck Showalter says there’s been no setback in Scherzer’s recovery from a strained oblique. Creg Stephenson | Cstephenson@al.com, al, 29 June 2022 Scherzer is currently recovering from a May oblique strain that is likely to keep him sidelined into July. Jesse Yomtov, USA TODAY, 4 June 2022 New York said the scan detected a moderate-to-high grade strain of the internal oblique, a musle on the side that causes pain over the ribcage. Creg Stephenson | Cstephenson@al.com, al, 20 May 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of oblique


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


circa 1608, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1687, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for oblique


Middle English oblique, oblike, borrowed from Anglo-French oblic, oblique, borrowed from Latin oblīquus "slanting, transverse," from ob- "against, facing" + -līquus, of uncertain meaning and origin — more at ob-


derivative of oblique entry 1


derivative of oblique entry 1

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Time Traveler for oblique

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The first known use of oblique was in the 15th century

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Dictionary Entries Near oblique



oblique angle

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Last Updated

26 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Oblique.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/oblique. Accessed 4 Oct. 2022.

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More Definitions for oblique


\ ō-ˈblēk How to pronounce oblique (audio) , ə- \

Kids Definition of oblique

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

Other Words from oblique

obliquely adverb


\ ō-ˈblēk How to pronounce oblique (audio) , ə- How to pronounce oblique (audio) , -ˈblīk \

Medical Definition of oblique

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : neither perpendicular nor parallel : being on an incline
2 : situated obliquely and having one end not inserted on bone oblique muscles

Other Words from oblique

obliquely adverb


variants: or oblique muscle

Medical Definition of oblique (Entry 2 of 2)

: any of several oblique muscles: as
a : either of two flat muscles on each side that form the middle and outer layers of the lateral walls of the abdomen, that have aponeuroses extending medially to ensheathe the rectus muscles and fusing in the midventral line in the linea alba, and that act to compress the abdominal contents and to assist in expelling the contents of various visceral organs (as in urination, defecation, parturition, and expiration):
(1) : one that forms the outer layer of the lateral abdominal wall

called also external oblique, obliquus externus, obliquus externus abdominis

(2) : one situated under the external oblique in the lateral and ventral part of the abdominal wall

called also internal oblique, obliquus internus, obliquus internus abdominis

b(1) : a long thin extraocular muscle that arises just above the margin of the optic foramen, is inserted on the upper part of the eyeball, and moves the eye downward and laterally

called also superior oblique, obliquus superior oculi

(2) : a short extraocular muscle that arises from the orbital surface of the maxilla, is inserted slightly in front of and below the superior oblique, and moves the eye upward and laterally

called also inferior oblique, obliquus inferior oculi

c(1) : a muscle that arises from the superior surface of the transverse process of the atlas, passes medially upward to insert into the occipital bone, and functions to extend the head and bend it to the side

called also obliquus capitis superior, obliquus superior

(2) : a muscle that arises from the apex of the spinous process of the axis, inserts into the transverse process of the atlas, and rotates the atlas turning the face in the same direction

called also obliquus capitis inferior, obliquus inferior

More from Merriam-Webster on oblique

Nglish: Translation of oblique for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of oblique for Arabic Speakers


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