- no longer in general use; fallen into disuse: an obsolete expression.
- of a discarded or outmoded type; out of date: an obsolete battleship.
- (of a linguistic form) no longer in use, especially, out of use for at least the past century.Compare archaic.
- effaced by wearing down or away.
- Biology. imperfectly developed or rudimentary in comparison with the corresponding character in other individuals, as of the opposite sex or of a related species.
- to make obsolete by replacing with something newer or better; antiquate: Automation has obsoleted many factory workers.
Origin of obsolete
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
2. antiquated, ancient, old.
1, 2. new, modern.
Terms and definitions labeled Obsolete in this dictionary have not been in widespread use since the mid 1700s. Unlike some relatively familiar archaic words and phrases, like prithee and thou art, obsolete words and phrases are not easily understood by a modern reader, and obsolete senses of current terms, as found in definitions 13, 14, and 15 of nice, are even more difficult for a contemporary reader to recognize.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for obsolete
That data (collected in 2012 and 2013) is obsolete: Jesse Logan confirms both areas are “now showing significant mortality.”What It Takes to Kill a Grizzly Bear
November 23, 2014
And fashion editor Lynn Yaeger thinks print magazines are becoming "obsolete."Kate Hudson Defends Butt Implants; Cara Delevingne Is Designing For DKNY
The Fashion Beast Team
June 10, 2014
Getting rid of obsolete laws is not something Congress does often.Government Has Made America Inept
Philip K. Howard
May 4, 2014
Navigating this brave new world is the inventively-named Anana, an employee at a soon to be obsolete print dictionary.This Week’s Hot Reads: April 21, 2014
April 22, 2014
But Predators are vulnerable to even the most obsolete surface-to-air missiles or air-to-air fighter aircraft.The Killer Drone Goes Stealthy—Just in Time for a New Cold War
April 16, 2014
In this sense the word is obsolete; so is that kind of government.The Devil's Dictionary
If we used 'em all the time they wouldn't get obsolete, would they?Tiverton Tales
Wheelwrighting is fast becoming an obsolete art in the North.
Nothing can be obsolete that is of divine institution, your Eminence.The Eternal City
Fortunately, this type was not used extensively, and the battery is obsolete.The Automobile Storage Battery
O. A. Witte
- out of use or practice; not current
- out of date; unfashionable or outmoded
- biology (of parts, organs, etc) vestigial; rudimentary
C16: from Latin obsolētus worn out, past participle of obsolēre (unattested), from ob- opposite to + solēre to be used
The word obsoleteness is hardly ever used, obsolescence standing as the noun form for both obsolete and obsolescent
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
Word Origin and History for obsolete
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper