Word of the Day : March 30, 2013


verb AHB-vee-ayt


: to anticipate and prevent (as a situation) or make unnecessary (as an action)

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.


Rob checks every ledger entry twice to obviate any problems when it comes time for an audit.

"Some TVs come equipped with … technology that manufacturers incorporated to obviate the need for supplementary cable boxes." - From an article by Mike Rogoway in The Oregonian, January 13, 2013

Name That Synonym

Fill in the blanks to create another synonym of "obviate": frsal. The answer is …


More Words of the Day

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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