obsolete

adjective
ob·so·lete | \ˌäb-sə-ˈlēt, 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b : of a kind or style no longer current : old-fashioned an obsolete technology farming methods that are now obsolete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, 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

After Trump stormed the White House by blowing past a daily barrage of scandals, some Democrats soon began questioning not only whether opposition research was still worth the trouble, but whether all the old rules of politics were obsolete. Gabriel Debenedetti, Daily Intelligencer, "What Hurts a Political Opponent in the Age of Trump?," 20 May 2018 Too As machines get smarter, there is a persistent fear in the minds of economists, policy makers and, well, everybody: Millions of people will be left obsolete and jobless. Gerard Baker, WSJ, "The 10-Point.," 30 Apr. 2018 File formats can become obsolete and unreadable, nuclear bombs can explode, tidal waves can inundate. Sarah Scoles, WIRED, "What Happens When Science Just Disappears?," 25 Apr. 2018 Rossello highlighted how the island’s electrical grid, which was severely dilapidated even prior to the storms, was obsolete and working off of a generation system that was 28 years older than the average electric power utility in the United States. Reuters, Fortune, "Puerto Rico Plans to Privatize Its Devastated Power Utility," 23 Jan. 2018 Bridges can be both functionally obsolete and structurally deficient. Erik Sofge, Popular Mechanics, "Just How Fragile Are America's Bridges?," 28 May 2013 If so, current hardware won’t necessarily be made obsolete when Scarlett launches. Brad Chacos, PCWorld, "New leaks reveal the future of Xbox and Surface," 12 June 2018 Dutifully displaying those parts of a show that time has rendered obsolete doesn’t do anyone any favors. Charles Mcnulty, latimes.com, "'Sweet Charity' from Reprise: The dancing never gets old, but the book could use a nip and tuck," 23 June 2018 At a time when so many relationships are rendered obsolete by technology, tenants may not miss having a landlord come around for rent on the first of the month. Jeff Andrews, Curbed, "Wall Street’s new housing frontier: Single-family rental homes," 18 May 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

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

Verb

see obsolete entry 1

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Statistics for obsolete

Last Updated

11 Oct 2018

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 \

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 \

Medical Definition of obsolete 

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

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Comments on obsolete

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