Try Our Apps


90s Slang You Should Know


[uh-bliv-ee-uh s] /əˈblɪv i əs/
unmindful; unconscious; unaware (usually followed by of or to):
She was oblivious of his admiration.
forgetful; without remembrance or memory:
oblivious of my former failure.
Archaic. inducing forgetfulness.
Origin of oblivious
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English < Latin oblīviōsus forgetful, equivalent to oblīvī(scī) to for-get + -ōsus -ous
Related forms
obliviously, adverb
obliviousness, noun
self-oblivious, adjective
semioblivious, adjective
semiobliviously, adverb
semiobliviousness, noun
unoblivious, adjective
unobliviously, adverb
unobliviousness, noun
Can be confused
oblivious, obvious.
Synonym Study
2. See absent-minded. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for oblivious
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Those who sat opposite to the Warden, with their backs to the void, were oblivious of the matter that had so recently teased them.

    Zuleika Dobson Max Beerbohm
  • Be oblivious of what he is, because of what he has been in the past, and will be in the future.

    The Dop Doctor Clotilde Inez Mary Graves
  • Her white head dropped lower and lower, until presently she was oblivious to all surroundings.

    Travelers Five Along Life's Highway Annie Fellows Johnston
  • It seemed as if he preferred to have her angry rather than oblivious of him.

    The Convert Elizabeth Robins
  • It was evident that some thought had struck him with such insistence as to render him oblivious of his surroundings.

    The Case of the Golden Bullet Grace Isabel Colbron, and Augusta Groner
British Dictionary definitions for oblivious


foll by to or of. unaware or forgetful
Derived Forms
obliviously, adverb
obliviousness, noun
Usage note
It was formerly considered incorrect to use oblivious to mean unaware, but this use is now acceptable
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for oblivious

mid-15c., from Latin obliviosus "forgetful, that easily forgets; producing forgetfulness," from oblivion (see oblivion). Meaning "unaware, unconscious (of something)" is from 1862, formerly regarded as erroneous, this is now the general meaning and the word has lost its original sense of "no longer aware or mindful." Properly should be used with to, not of. Related: Obliviously; obliviousness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for oblivious

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for oblivious

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for oblivious