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b : of a kind or style no longer current : old-fashioned an obsolete technology farming methods that are now obsolete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

But for decades, Yerkes has been obsolete as a cutting-edge research center. Ted Gregory, chicagotribune.com, "U. of C.'s Yerkes Observatory has been a cherished icon for decades. Now it's for sale, and people are nervous," 5 July 2018 The job has been made gradually obsolete by the arrival decades ago of the city’s electricity supply and recent improvements to the grid, powering up smartphones throughout the night and the alarm clocks that wake people up for prayer. New York Times, "The Personal Wake-Up Call to Prayers, a Ramadan Tradition, Is Endangered," 13 June 2018 Food couriers have recently joined truck and taxi drivers in the category of jobs that are most likely to be made obsolete by self-driving technology. Andrew J. Hawkins, The Verge, "Ford’s ‘self-driving’ vans are now delivering food in Miami," 11 June 2018 The multi-hyphenate Jessica Williams, actor-host-writer-producer, who is best known for her work on The Daily Show and her podcast 2 Dope Queens, is the type of star who in many ways makes jobs like mine obsolete. Mary H.k. Choi, The Cut, "Jessica Williams Is Ready to Claim What’s Hers," 4 June 2018 After five years of development, the company is bringing its operations online, with hopes of revolutionizing waste management worldwide and making landfills obsolete. Ilan Ben Zion, USA TODAY, "Waste recycling: Israeli business says it can turn garbage into plastic products," 22 Mar. 2018 There is a pleasing symmetry to the idea of fighting the planet-heating side-effects of fossil fuels with the help of an energy source they had supposedly made obsolete. The Economist, "Tidal powerAn idea from the past may make a Severn barrage practical," 3 Feb. 2018 An initial list that was not widely distributed turned up nearly 182,000 people, but state officials called the list obsolete and did not use it. Gary Fineout, The Seattle Times, "Florida’s effort to find non-citizen voters had slim results," 13 Nov. 2018 The Ugly Qualcomm's continual repackaging of obsolete CPU technology is killing Wear OS. Ron Amadeo, Ars Technica, "Review: Google’s Wear OS 2.0 can’t fix its obsolete smartwatch hardware," 28 Sep. 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

6 Dec 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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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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