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

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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, 17 Mar. 2021 It’s just nice to be honest about the gruesomeness of it — a reminder of the yuck, which does not obviate the yum. Helen Shaw, Vulture, 21 Sep. 2021 Raising vaccination rates, scientists said, would obviate the need for many of the costly antibody treatments in the first place. Compiled Democrat-gazette Staff From Wire Reports, Arkansas Online, 19 Sep. 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, 17 Mar. 2021 Raising vaccination rates, scientists said, would obviate the need for many of the costly antibody treatments in the first place. Compiled Democrat-gazette Staff From Wire Reports, Arkansas Online, 19 Sep. 2021 Raising vaccination rates, scientists said, would obviate the need for many of the costly antibody treatments in the first place. New York Times, 18 Sep. 2021 Raising vaccination rates, scientists said, would obviate the need for many of the costly antibody treatments in the first place. BostonGlobe.com, 18 Sep. 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, 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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Dictionary Entries Near obviate

obviable

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Last Updated

15 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Obviate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/obviate. Accessed 26 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for obviate

obviate

verb

English Language Learners Definition of obviate

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

More from Merriam-Webster on obviate

Nglish: Translation of obviate for Spanish Speakers

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