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 The process is called in-ovo sexing, and such technologies, versions of which are already deployed in some countries, can obviate the need for live chick culling. Jonathan Moens, Smithsonian Magazine, "Can New Technologies Eliminate the Grim Practice of Chick Culling?," 17 Mar. 2021 That will obviate the need for the kind of mammoth deficit financing the company had embraced in previous years, to Wall Street analysts’ alarm, to finance its programming plans. David Bloom, Forbes, "Netflix Shares Plummet After Q1 Subscriber Miss, But Buybacks Coming," 21 Apr. 2021 Those facts are linked to improvement in the economy, as a consequence — and an improving economy would seem to obviate the need for a new stimulus check. Andy Meek, BGR, "Is a fourth stimulus check on the way? Here’s what we know," 19 Apr. 2021 The process is called in-ovo sexing, and such technologies, versions of which are already deployed in some countries, can obviate the need for live chick culling. Jonathan Moens, Smithsonian Magazine, "Can New Technologies Eliminate the Grim Practice of Chick Culling?," 17 Mar. 2021 Vaccination certificates may ultimately obviate the need for quarantine on arrival, a policy which is currently impeding the return of regular international tourism worldwide. Joshua Cohen, Forbes, "Importance Of Formulating A U.S. Policy On Covid-19 Vaccine Passports To Facilitate Future International Travel," 12 Apr. 2021 Philip had intercoms installed, for example, to obviate the need for messengers. New York Times, "Prince Philip, Husband of Queen Elizabeth II, Is Dead at 99," 9 Apr. 2021 The process is called in-ovo sexing, and such technologies, versions of which are already deployed in some countries, can obviate the need for live chick culling. Jonathan Moens, Smithsonian Magazine, "Can New Technologies Eliminate the Grim Practice of Chick Culling?," 17 Mar. 2021 The process is called in-ovo sexing, and such technologies, versions of which are already deployed in some countries, can obviate the need for live chick culling. Jonathan Moens, Smithsonian Magazine, "Can New Technologies Eliminate the Grim Practice of Chick Culling?," 17 Mar. 2021

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

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The first known use of obviate was in 1567

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Last Updated

12 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Obviate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/obviate. Accessed 16 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for obviate

obviate

verb

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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