oblivious

adjective
obliv·​i·​ous | \ ə-ˈbli-vē-əs How to pronounce oblivious (audio) \

Definition of oblivious

1 : lacking remembrance, memory, or mindful attention
2 : lacking active conscious knowledge or awareness usually used with of or to

Other Words from oblivious

obliviously adverb
obliviousness noun

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.

Examples of oblivious in a Sentence

They were pushing and shouting and oblivious to anyone not in their group. — P. J. O'Rourke, Rolling Stone, 14 Nov. 1996 Prentice looked up from his food, which he had been steadily shovelling in, completely oblivious of everyone. — Antonya Nelson, New Yorker, 9 Nov. 1992 Oblivious of any previous decisions not to stand together …  , the three stood in a tight group … — Doris Lessing, The Good Terrorist, 1985 Father was oblivious to the man's speculative notice of his wife. — E. L. Doctorow, Ragtime, 1974 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 the out-of-state motorist claimed to be oblivious of the local speed limit, even though the signs must have been hard to miss See More
Recent Examples on the Web Obviously everyone needs to carry their weight but Gray isn't oblivious to her role on the team. J.l. Kirven, The Courier-Journal, 3 June 2022 But the two women seemed oblivious to the gunshot, as well as to the explosions sounding nearby. New York Times, 24 May 2022 The trailers hid the villain in plain sight while also trying to conceal the reveal, and MCU fans who were oblivious to the leaks were not prepared for the shock. Chris Smith, BGR, 24 May 2022 Needless to say, neither firm is oblivious to the moneymaking opportunities to be found in the ecosystem that has grown up around ESG, an ecosystem that looks more and more like a rent-seekers’ Eden. Andrew Stuttaford, National Review, 7 May 2022 The folks inside Nashville’s Municipal Auditorium, however, seemed oblivious to this cosmic disturbance and got to take in a rather upbeat show on an April evening in downtown Nashville. Jon Freeman, Rolling Stone, 12 Apr. 2022 Bailey seemed oblivious to the fact that some people wanted him on it. al, 9 Mar. 2022 And the man who put the nail in the Packers’ coffin was none other than Robbie Gould, the one kicker over the years who seemed oblivious to playing winter football along the lakefront. Paul Sullivan, chicagotribune.com, 23 Jan. 2022 Many of the educators seemed oblivious to the repression in their midst, participants said. Haruka Sakaguchi, ProPublica, 30 Nov. 2021 See More

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

First Known Use of oblivious

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for oblivious

Middle English, borrowed from Latin oblīviōsus, from oblīvi-, base of oblīviōn-, oblīviō "state of forgetting, dismissal from the memory" + -ōsus -ous — more at oblivion

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Time Traveler for oblivious

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near oblivious

oblivionize

oblivious

obliviscence

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Statistics for oblivious

Last Updated

5 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Oblivious.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/oblivious. Accessed 28 Jun. 2022.

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More Definitions for oblivious

oblivious

adjective
obliv·​i·​ous | \ ə-ˈbli-vē-əs How to pronounce oblivious (audio) \

Kids Definition of oblivious

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

Other Words from oblivious

obliviously adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on oblivious

Nglish: Translation of oblivious for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of oblivious for Arabic Speakers

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