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[ob-vee-eyt] /ˈɒb viˌeɪt/
verb (used with object), obviated, obviating.
to anticipate and prevent or eliminate (difficulties, disadvantages, etc.) by effective measures; render unnecessary:
to obviate the risk of serious injury.
Origin of obviate
1590-1600; < Latin obviātus, past participle of obviāre to act contrary to, derivative of obvius; see obvious, -ate1
Related forms
[ob-vee-uh-buh l] /ˈɒb vi ə bəl/ (Show IPA),
obviation, noun
obviator, noun
preobviate, verb (used with object), preobviated, preobviating.
unobviable, adjective
unobviated, adjective
Can be confused
ameliorate, obviate, vitiate.
preclude, avert, anticipate. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for obviated
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I am glad that the necessity for making an attack upon the camp is obviated.

  • This might be obviated by burning the sample on a common earthen plate.

    Guano Solon Robinson
  • All difficulty about the process of removal might and should be obviated.

    Deerbrook Harriet Martineau
  • If printed cards are used, much of the note-taking is obviated.

  • If this objection could not be obviated, it would, I confess, have great weight in my own mind.

    Popular Education Ira Mayhew
  • This course has also obviated the necessity of my repeating myself.

    The Canterbury Puzzles

    Henry Ernest Dudeney
  • Spirit—Pierce the lens through its axis, and the difficulty is obviated.

    The Diamond Lens Fitz-James O'brien
  • By collecting the over-flow of gas in the compensator, this disadvantage is obviated.

    Up in the Clouds R.M. Ballantyne
  • Thus will be obviated the necessity of repeating the discourse in various places.

    Epistle Sermons, Vol. II Martin Luther
British Dictionary definitions for obviated


(transitive) to avoid or prevent (a need or difficulty)
Derived Forms
obviation, noun
Usage note
Only things that have not yet occurred can be obviated. For example, one can obviate a possible future difficulty, but not one that already exists
Word Origin
C16: from Late Latin obviātus prevented, past participle of obviāre; see obvious
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
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Word Origin and History for obviated



1590s, "to meet and do away with," from Late Latin obviatus, past participle of obviare "act contrary to, go against," from Latin obvius "that is in the way, that moves against" (see obvious). Related: Obviated; obviating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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