obliq·​ui·​ty ō-ˈbli-kwə-tē How to pronounce obliquity (audio)
plural obliquities
: deviation from moral rectitude or sound thinking
: deviation from parallelism or perpendicularity
also : the amount of such deviation
: the angle between the planes of the earth's equator and orbit having a value of about 23°27′
obliquity of the ecliptic
: indirectness or deliberate obscurity of speech or conduct
: an obscure or confusing statement

Examples of obliquity in a Sentence

her poetry is sure to satisfy those readers who readily confuse obliquity with profundity
Recent Examples on the Web Because of these wobbles, Earth’s obliquity isn’t perfectly fixed. Gongjie Li, Discover Magazine, 11 Jan. 2024 So how do obliquity variations affect the seasons on a planet? Gongjie Li, Discover Magazine, 11 Jan. 2024 Earth’s tilt, which is scientifically known as obliquity, is known to vary between 22.1 and 24.5 degrees on a cycle that lasts about 41,000 years. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, 23 Aug. 2023 Titan's obliquity, for example is 0.3 degrees, whereas Earth's is 23 degrees. Patrick Morgan, Discover Magazine, 9 May 2011 These two measurements are useful because the Cassini State Model describes a reliable correlation between a moon's obliquity to its moment of inertia. Patrick Morgan, Discover Magazine, 9 May 2011 The second cycle is related to gradual changes in the Earth’s inclination, or obliquity. Joshua Rapp Learn, Discover Magazine, 30 Sep. 2022 Milkankovich obliquity frequency for the most recent sediment. Erik Klemetti, Discover Magazine, 8 Jan. 2013 This might suggest that a truer study of the psyche and its place in the world could be conducted via indirection or obliquity. Matthew Bevis, Harper’s Magazine , 16 Feb. 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'obliquity.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English obliquite "slanted or crooked state," borrowed from Middle French & Latin; Middle French obliquité, borrowed from Latin oblīquitāt-, oblīquitās "condition of being at an angle, slant," from oblīquus "slanting, oblique entry 1" + -itāt-, -itās -ity

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of obliquity was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near obliquity

Cite this Entry

“Obliquity.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/obliquity. Accessed 24 May. 2024.

Medical Definition


obliq·​ui·​ty ō-ˈblik-wət-ē, ə- How to pronounce obliquity (audio)
plural obliquities
: the quality or state of being oblique : deviation from parallelism or perpendicularity
also : the amount of such deviation

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