Synonym Chooser

How does the adjective obsolete differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of obsolete are ancient, antiquated, antique, archaic, old, and venerable. While all these words mean "having come into existence or use in the more or less distant past," 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

When could ancient be used to replace obsolete?

The synonyms ancient and obsolete are sometimes interchangeable, but ancient applies to occurrence, existence, or use in or survival from the distant past.

ancient accounts of dragons

Where would antiquated be a reasonable alternative to obsolete?

While in some cases nearly identical to obsolete, antiquated implies being discredited or outmoded or otherwise inappropriate to the present time.

antiquated teaching methods

In what contexts can antique take the place of obsolete?

The words antique and obsolete can be used in similar contexts, but antique applies to what has come down from a former or ancient time.

collected antique Chippendale furniture

When is archaic a more appropriate choice than obsolete?

In some situations, the words archaic and obsolete are roughly equivalent. However, archaic implies having the character or characteristics of a much earlier time.

the play used archaic language to convey a sense of period

When might old be a better fit than obsolete?

Although the words old and obsolete have much in common, old may apply to either actual or merely relative length of existence.

old houses
an old sweater of mine

When would venerable be a good substitute for obsolete?

The meanings of venerable and obsolete largely overlap; however, venerable stresses the impressiveness and dignity of great age.

the family's venerable patriarch

Thesaurus Entries Near obsolete

Cite this Entry

“Obsolete.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/obsolete. Accessed 22 Sep. 2023.

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