oblivious

adjective
obliv·​i·​ous | \ə-ˈbli-vē-əs \

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

Kevin, however, was oblivious to the whole exchange, which got a few people upset: But things really started to heat up online when the episode flashed back to prom night for Kevin, his date, and Randall (Kate stayed at home). Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Why 'This Is Us' Viewers Were Super Upset With Kevin After This Week's Episode," 24 Oct. 2018 There’s an interesting parallel drawn here to Kevin and Zoe’s relationship in the present day, and Zoe realizing that Kevin is completely oblivious to the reality of her life as a woman of color. Emma Dibdin, Country Living, "'This Is Us' Reveals the Heartbreaking Promise Miguel Made to Jack Before He Died," 24 Oct. 2018 My fellow bathers—a carefree group of locals and tourists—are oblivious to the city’s workday bustle. András Szántó, Condé Nast Traveler, "Why Budapest Is Europe's Unlikely Capital of Hedonism," 29 Aug. 2018 Harry Hadden-Paton is a superb and witty bully, oblivious of anyone’s feelings but his own; his mission is to create a woman, to make Eliza, a cockney flowergirl, into an elegant lady who can pass for a duchess at the Embassy Ball. Toby Zinman, Philly.com, "What a Broadway weekend!: 'St. Joan' and 'My Fair Lady'!," 27 Apr. 2018 In the surveillance video, the 19-year-old victim sits on a Barrio Logan trolley bench scrolling on his phone, his feet resting casually on a skateboard, seemingly oblivious to the man standing in front of him. Alex Riggins, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Police seek help to ID suspects in violent robbery on Barrio Logan trolley platform," 11 July 2018 The dancing, which continues for an hour unabated, is serious and playful, immersed in and oblivious to its surroundings, conveying numerous messages simultaneously. Thomas Chatterton Williams, New York Times, "Adrian Piper’s Show at MoMA is the Largest Ever for a Living Artist. Why Hasn’t She Seen It?," 27 June 2018 Zachary Dasch slurped from his bottle, oblivious to discussion about the cultural relativity of parenting practices. Anndee Hochman, Philly.com, "The secrets of sleep deprivation: DadLab offers new fathers wisdom in the company of men," 12 June 2018 North of a Confederate monument in Forsyth Park, tourists walk through the historic district, lined with cafés, antique shops, and grand antebellum homes, oblivious to the poverty a few blocks away. Rachel Aviv, The New Yorker, "The Spy Who Came Home," 30 Apr. 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

see oblivion

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Statistics for oblivious

Last Updated

12 Dec 2018

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 \

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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