Should the future obituarist of Donald Rumsfeld describe the Iraq war as a triumph to spare the feelings of the Rumsfeld family?
1706, "register of deaths," from Medieval Latin obituarius "a record of the death of a person," literally "pertaining to death," from Latin obitus "departure, a going to meet, encounter" (a euphemism for "death"), from stem of obire "go toward, go to meet" (as in mortem obire "meet death"), from ob "to, toward" (see ob-) + ire "to go" (see ion). Meaning "record or announcement of a death, especially in a newspaper, and including a brief biographical sketch" is from 1738. As an adjective from 1828. A similar euphemism is in Old English cognate forðfaran "to die," literally "to go forth;" utsið "death," literally "going out, departure."