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b : of a kind or style no longer current : old-fashioned an obsolete technology farming methods that are now obsolete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

But when the Age of Steam came to an end in the late 1950s, 4014 became obsolete, until Dickens and his team brought it back to life. CBS News, "Building the Transcontinental Railroad, the moonshot of the 19th century," 16 June 2019 Early cyberspace utopians thought censorship would soon be obsolete: the internet would treat it as a broken node and route around it. The Economist, "The unacknowledged legislators of the online world," 14 June 2019 Orange County closed its operation in 2017 because the 53,000-square-foot facility was obsolete, making Orange one of the few major metropolitan areas in the U.S. without a residential recycling processing center. Stephen Hudak, orlandosentinel.com, "Recycling plastic grocery bags? It’s ‘a waste of effort,’ Orange County says," 11 June 2019 Green says the new update makes Chrome opt-out instead, reversing the decade-long policy obsolete. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "Google's New Automatic Chrome Login Is Bad For Your Online Privacy," 24 Sep. 2018 Policies that increase aggregate demand will not succeed in replacing the jobs that technology makes obsolete. Martin Feldstein, WSJ, "The Fed Can’t Save Jobs From AI and Robots," 10 June 2018 Rendering his assistant obsolete, George R.R. Martin himself also emailed the Huffington Post denying that there will be a Game of Thrones movie. Chelsea Peng, Marie Claire, "George R.R. Martin, HBO Shoot Down Your Dreams of a 'Game of Thrones' Movie," 1 Oct. 2015 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

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

21 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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