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

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web

Confident from the retail response to spring, the fall collection featured and expanded line-up and richer materials, including high-tech fabrics and Shetland wools, each look proudly oblivious of trends and seasons. Erik Maza, Town & Country, "Plan C, the New Label From the Family Behind Marni, Is the Coolest Thing to Come out of Milan," 27 Feb. 2019 The track starts off quietly enough, with players racing through checkpoints and past enemy NPCs who seem as oblivious to the action as armadillos on Texas roads. Leif Johnson, PCWorld, "Check out this exclusive look at Guild Wars 2's jaw-dropping Infernal Leap roller beetle track," 26 Nov. 2018 This fantasy tends to be peddled by people who are either too naïve or too oblivious to recognize how only certain kinds of privilege make this possible. Christine Ro, Outside Online, "Bringing Up Baby on the Road," 25 May 2018 Her husband, Drew (Ron Livingston), is of little help and oblivious to Marlo’s hardship. Jake Coyle, Detroit Free Press, "Review: ‘Tully’ offers rare peek at lives of young moms," 3 May 2018 His head is bopping, his feet are tapping, his face is slightly scrunched, all while appearing oblivious to the surrounding passengers slipping him the side-eye, both left and right. Grace Dickinson, Philly.com, "How to slay at the U.S. Air Guitar Regional Championships in Philadelphia," 27 June 2018 But the enraged Wilson seemed oblivious to the situation. Kevin Allen, USA TODAY, "Capitals' Tom Wilson goes berserk, then punches off Lightning player's helmet in Game 7 fight," 23 May 2018 The golf course appeared undisturbed by the Kilauea volcano's activity and some of the golfers appeared oblivious to what was occurring behind them. Fox News, "Hawaii volcano emits massive cloud of ash into sky, but golfers seem oblivious," 17 May 2018 No one was oblivious to what was on the line here,’’ said offensive lineman Duane Brown. Larry Stone, The Seattle Times, "The Seahawks missed an opportunity against the 49ers. But all is not lost … yet," 18 Dec. 2018

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.

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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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Statistics for oblivious

Last Updated

4 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for oblivious

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

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More Definitions for oblivious

oblivious

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of oblivious

: not conscious or aware of someone or something

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

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Comments on oblivious

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