adjective obliv·i·ous \ə-ˈbli-vē-əs\

Definition of oblivious

  1. 1 :  lacking remembrance, memory, or mindful attention

  2. 2 :  lacking active conscious knowledge or awareness —usually used with of or to





Examples of oblivious in a sentence

  1. They were pushing and shouting and oblivious to anyone not in their group. —P. J. O'Rourke, Rolling Stone, 14 Nov. 1996

  2. Prentice looked up from his food, which he had been steadily shovelling in, completely oblivious of everyone. —Antonya Nelson, New Yorker, 9 Nov. 1992

  3. Oblivious of any previous decisions not to stand together …  , the three stood in a tight group … —Doris Lessing, The Good Terrorist, 1985

  4. Father was oblivious to the man's speculative notice of his wife. —E. L. Doctorow, Ragtime, 1974

  5. She rested now, frankly and fairly, in the shelter of his arms, and both were oblivious to the gale that rushed past them in quicker and stronger blasts. —Jack London, Burning Daylight, 1910

  6. the out-of-state motorist claimed to be oblivious of the local speed limit, even though the signs must have been hard to miss

Recent Examples of oblivious from the web

These example sentences are collected from online sources. Help us improve them by sending feedback.

How to Use Oblivious in a Sentence: does it go with 'of' or 'to'?

Oblivious usually has to do with not being conscious or aware of someone or something. When used with this meaning, it can be followed by either to or of:

The cat had crept in silently, and we were oblivious to its presence in the room.

There was no chance that anyone could be oblivious of the dog, though; it greeted everyone in the room with frisky leaps.

Oblivious can also have to do with forgetfulness, and when it's used this way, it is often followed by of (but not to):

The child had brought in a snake she'd discovered in the garden, oblivious of the promise she'd made to leave all found creatures outside.

Whatever meaning of oblivious you choose to use, the noun that correlates with this adjective is obliviousness:

Our obliviousness to the cat's presence in the room was quickly corrected by the dog's discovery of the cat under the chair.

The noun oblivion is related to both, of course, but it is not the noun form of oblivious.

Origin and Etymology of oblivious

see oblivion

First Known Use: 15th century

OBLIVIOUS Defined for English Language Learners


adjective obliv·i·ous \ə-ˈbli-vē-əs\

Definition of oblivious for English Language Learners

  • : not conscious or aware of someone or something

OBLIVIOUS Defined for Kids


adjective obliv·i·ous \ə-ˈbli-vē-əs\

Definition of oblivious for Students

  1. :  not being conscious or aware The boys were oblivious to the danger.



Seen and Heard

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


to help become familiar with something

Get Word of the Day daily email!


Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

  • ludwig-richter-spring-has-arrived
  • Which is a synonym of upbraid?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


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