Definition of obviate
: to anticipate and prevent (as a situation) or make unnecessary (as an action)
obviationplay \ˌäb-vē-ˈā-shən\ noun
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.
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.
Origin and Etymology of obviate
Late Latin obviatus, past participle of obviare to meet, withstand, from Latin obviam
First Known Use: 1598
OBVIATE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of obviate for English Language Learners
: to make (something) no longer necessary : to prevent or avoid (something)
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up obviate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).