ob·​so·​lesce | \ ˌäb-sə-ˈles How to pronounce obsolesce (audio) \
obsolesced; obsolescing

Definition of obsolesce

intransitive verb

: to be or become obsolescent

transitive verb

: to make obsolescent

Examples of obsolesce in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web And unlike tech skills, which now obsolesce at an average rate of every 18 months, soft skills will grow even more essential as technology keeps racing onward. Anne Fisher, Fortune, "How to succeed in your January job hunt," 22 Jan. 2020 What a bizarre triumph for a company so eager to obsolesce our televisions. Chris Richards, Washington Post, "How did YouTube become the most popular music streaming site? By sounding like the world itself.," 31 July 2019 People talk on landlines and watch black-and-white movies; the internet and mobile devices have seemingly obsolesced. Julian Lucas, Harper's magazine, "New Books," 10 May 2019 The pattern such boondoggles follow is predictable: the services insist that new weapons are needed to replace our rapidly obsolescing fleets. Andrew Cockburn, Harper's magazine, "The Military-Industrial Virus," 10 June 2019

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

See More

First Known Use of obsolesce

1873, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for obsolesce

Latin obsolescere

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about obsolesce

Time Traveler for obsolesce

Time Traveler

The first known use of obsolesce was in 1873

See more words from the same year

Statistics for obsolesce

Cite this Entry

“Obsolesce.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/obsolesce. Accessed 6 Aug. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on obsolesce

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with obsolesce

Nglish: Translation of obsolesce for Spanish Speakers

Comments on obsolesce

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


Test Your Vocabulary

July 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • papercraft sunset
  • Which is a synonym of mien?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!