Synonyms & Antonyms of obtuse

1 lacking sharpness of edge or point
  • obtuse scissors designed so that young users will not cut themselves

Synonyms for obtuse

Words Related to obtuse

Near Antonyms for obtuse

Antonyms for obtuse

2 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 for obtuse

Words Related to obtuse

Near Antonyms for obtuse

Antonyms for obtuse

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Frequently Asked Questions About obtuse

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

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Time Traveler for obtuse

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The first known use of obtuse was in the 15th century

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Cite this Entry

“Obtuse.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Sep. 2021.

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More from Merriam-Webster on obtuse

Nglish: Translation of obtuse for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of obtuse for Arabic Speakers


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