obviate

verb
ob·​vi·​ate | \ ˈäb-vē-ˌāt How to pronounce obviate (audio) \
obviated; obviating

Definition of obviate

transitive verb

: to anticipate and prevent (something, such as a situation) or make (an action) unnecessary The new medical treatment obviates the need for surgery.

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Other Words from obviate

obviation \ ˌäb-​vē-​ˈā-​shən How to pronounce obviate (audio) \ noun

Did You Know?

Obviate derives from Late Latin obviare (meaning "to meet or withstand") and Latin obviam, which means "in the way" and is also an ancestor of our adjective "obvious." "Obviate" has a number of synonyms in English, including "prevent," "preclude," and "avert"; all of these words can mean to hinder or stop something. When you prevent or preclude something, you put up an insurmountable obstacle. In addition, "preclude" often implies that a degree of chance was involved in stopping an event. "Obviate" generally suggests the use of intelligence or forethought to ward off trouble. "Avert" always implies that a bad situation has been anticipated and prevented or deflected by the application of immediate and effective means.

Examples of obviate in a Sentence

The new medical treatment obviates the need for surgery. The new treatment obviates many of the risks associated with surgery.
Recent Examples on the Web Although the trade deal should obviate much of that, some customs checks and headaches undoubtedly lie ahead. Los Angeles Times, "Auld lang syne: Britain and the EU finally part ways," 31 Dec. 2020 Digitization doesn’t obviate the need for physical assets. Greg Ip, WSJ, "Covid-19 Propelled Businesses Into the Future. Ready or Not.," 26 Dec. 2020 There’s the fact that women generally are paid less than men, which tends to obviate the question of who should be the one to quit if there’s a crisis. Author: Amy Joyce, Ellen Mccarthy, Anchorage Daily News, "Mothers are being driven out of the workforce in droves by the pandemic," 30 Oct. 2020 There’s the fact that women generally are paid less than men, which tends to obviate the question of who should be the one to quit if there’s a crisis. Author: Amy Joyce, Ellen Mccarthy, Anchorage Daily News, "Mothers are being driven out of the workforce in droves by the pandemic," 30 Oct. 2020 There’s the fact that women generally are paid less than men, which tends to obviate the question of who should be the one to quit if there’s a crisis. Author: Amy Joyce, Ellen Mccarthy, Anchorage Daily News, "Mothers are being driven out of the workforce in droves by the pandemic," 30 Oct. 2020 There’s the fact that women generally are paid less than men, which tends to obviate the question of who should be the one to quit if there’s a crisis. Author: Amy Joyce, Ellen Mccarthy, Anchorage Daily News, "Mothers are being driven out of the workforce in droves by the pandemic," 30 Oct. 2020 There’s the fact that women generally are paid less than men, which tends to obviate the question of who should be the one to quit if there’s a crisis. Author: Amy Joyce, Ellen Mccarthy, Anchorage Daily News, "Mothers are being driven out of the workforce in droves by the pandemic," 30 Oct. 2020 There’s the fact that women generally are paid less than men, which tends to obviate the question of who should be the one to quit if there’s a crisis. Author: Amy Joyce, Ellen Mccarthy, Anchorage Daily News, "Mothers are being driven out of the workforce in droves by the pandemic," 30 Oct. 2020

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

1567, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for obviate

Late Latin obviatus, past participle of obviare to meet, withstand, from Latin obviam

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Time Traveler for obviate

Time Traveler

The first known use of obviate was in 1567

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Last Updated

12 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Obviate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/obviate. Accessed 20 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for obviate

obviate

verb
How to pronounce obviate (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of obviate

formal : to make (something) no longer necessary : to prevent or avoid (something)

More from Merriam-Webster on obviate

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for obviate

Nglish: Translation of obviate for Spanish Speakers

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