1
2
as in stupid
not having or showing an ability to absorb ideas readily forgive me for being obtuse, but I wish you'd explain that to me again

Synonyms & Similar Words

Antonyms & Near Antonyms

Synonym Chooser

How does the adjective obtuse differ from other similar words?

The words blunt and dull are common synonyms of obtuse. While all three words mean "not sharp, keen, or acute," obtuse implies such bluntness as makes one insensitive in perception or imagination.

too obtuse to take the hint

When might blunt be a better fit than obtuse?

The synonyms blunt and obtuse are sometimes interchangeable, but blunt suggests an inherent lack of sharpness or quickness of feeling or perception.

a person of blunt sensibility

When is it sensible to use dull instead of obtuse?

The words dull and obtuse are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, dull suggests a lack or loss of keenness, zest, or pungency.

a dull pain
a dull mind

Podcast

Thesaurus Entries Near obtuse

Cite this Entry

“Obtuse.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/obtuse. Accessed 4 Dec. 2022.

More from Merriam-Webster on obtuse

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!


The Great British Vocabulary Quiz

  • union jack speech bubble
  • Named after Sir Robert Peel, what are British police called?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ