obsolete

adjective
ob·​so·​lete | \ ˌäb-sə-ˈlēt How to pronounce obsolete (audio) , ˈäb-sə-ˌlēt\

Definition of obsolete

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : no longer in use or no longer useful an obsolete word
b : of a kind or style no longer current : old-fashioned an obsolete technology farming methods that are now obsolete
2 of a plant or animal part : indistinct or imperfect as compared with a corresponding part in related organisms : vestigial

obsolete

verb
ob·​so·​lete | \ ˌäb-sə-ˈlēt How to pronounce obsolete (audio) , ˈäb-sə-ˌlēt\
obsoleted; obsoleting

Definition of obsolete (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to make (something) old-fashioned or no longer useful : make obsolete

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Other Words from obsolete

Adjective

obsoletely adverb
obsoleteness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for obsolete

Adjective

old, ancient, venerable, antique, antiquated, archaic, obsolete mean having come into existence or use in the more or less distant past. old may apply to either actual or merely relative length of existence. old houses an old sweater of mine ancient applies to occurrence, existence, or use in or survival from the distant past. ancient accounts of dragons venerable stresses the impressiveness and dignity of great age. the family's venerable patriarch antique applies to what has come down from a former or ancient time. collected antique Chippendale furniture antiquated implies being discredited or outmoded or otherwise inappropriate to the present time. antiquated teaching methods archaic implies having the character or characteristics of a much earlier time. the play used archaic language to convey a sense of period obsolete may apply to something regarded as no longer acceptable or useful even though it is still in existence. a computer that makes earlier models obsolete

Examples of obsolete in a Sentence

Adjective

It may not be welcome news in her home state of Pennsylvania, but chemist Cynthia Kuper could help make steel obsolete. Experimenting with carbon nanotubes, structures a few atoms wide but 100 times stronger and much lighter than steel, Kuper calls her work an "amusement park discovery." — Joanna Chung, Newsweek, 23 Sept. 2002 He exercised a right so rare, at this the fag-end of the century, as to be practically obsolete. The most fundamental right of all. The right to be the good guy. — Zadie Smith, White Teeth, 2000 I never had parents, really. My mom was gone, my dad was at work or with his girlfriends, we had baby-sitters. My parents were obsolete. — Jonathan Kozol, Voices From the Future, 1993 The system was made obsolete by their invention. I was told my old printer is obsolete and I can't get replacement parts.

Verb

While many … do describe various small, quick-loading 35mm film cartridges, modern technology has obsoleted these. — Herbert Keppler, Popular Photography, November 1993 … older cpu's whose speed and efficiency never were fully tapped before they were effectively obsoleted by their manufacturers … — Edith Myers, Datamation, November 1977 For radio itself deliberately obsoletes today what it built yesterday. — David Sarnoff, Television, 1936
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Yet a plane becomes obsolete at a faster rate than a bridge. Jon Sindreu, WSJ, "Aircraft Investors Should Be More Grounded," 25 Jan. 2019 In a fast and dangerous sport, there are no guarantees moving forward, but Shiffrin could render many of the U.S. Olympic records obsolete. Tim Layden, SI.com, "Aside From Mikaela Shiffrin, the Outlook for U.S. Skiing in 2022 is Bleak," 23 Feb. 2018 But all the fiery outrage, the planned protests and the outpouring of sympathy and condolences from concerned friends, colleagues and politicians felt suddenly obsolete to Almansoob and many others Tuesday. Abigail Hauslohner, chicagotribune.com, "Muslims grapple with ruling that they believe redefines their place in America," 27 June 2018 More than 80 years old, the bridge is structurally deficient and functionally obsolete. Patrick Mcgeehan, New York Times, "For New Jersey Commuters, a Sequel to the ‘Summer of Hell’," 5 June 2018 The failure of Rethink Robotics provides a valuable reality check for people worried about robots rendering human factory workers obsolete. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Groundbreaking maker of gentle factory robots shuts down," 8 Oct. 2018 In a sense, a digital license plate could make LPRs obsolete. Cyrus Farivar, Ars Technica, "Would you pay $700, plus a monthly fee, for a digital license plate?," 2 July 2018 In the future, though, this method could very well become obsolete. Kaleigh Fasanella, Allure, "Instagram Just Added a New In-App Shopping Feature," 19 Mar. 2019 Industry participants say companies currently active in high-demand China sectors, such as semiconductor chips and other high technologies, could become obsolete as China builds out its own capabilities. Keach Hagey, WSJ, "Viacom Weighs Majority Stake Sale of China Operations," 13 Jan. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Why would SpaceX want to obsolete its own, dominant products? Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Block 5 rocket launch marks the end of the beginning for SpaceX," 3 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'obsolete.' 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 obsolete

Adjective

1579, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

1640, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for obsolete

Adjective and Verb

Latin obsoletus, from past participle of obsolescere to grow old, become disused, perhaps from ob- toward + solēre to be accustomed

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Statistics for obsolete

Last Updated

7 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for obsolete

The first known use of obsolete was in 1579

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More Definitions for obsolete

obsolete

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of obsolete

: no longer used because something newer exists : replaced by something newer
: no longer used by anyone

obsolete

adjective
ob·​so·​lete | \ ˌäb-sə-ˈlēt How to pronounce obsolete (audio) \

Kids Definition of obsolete

: no longer in use : out-of-date The machinery is now obsolete.

obsolete

adjective
ob·​so·​lete | \ ˌäb-sə-ˈlēt, ˈäb-sə-ˌ How to pronounce obsolete (audio) \

Medical Definition of obsolete

: no longer active or distinct obsolete cases of infection obsolete pulmonary lesions

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More from Merriam-Webster on obsolete

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with obsolete

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for obsolete

Spanish Central: Translation of obsolete

Nglish: Translation of obsolete for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of obsolete for Arabic Speakers

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