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Word of the Day
Sunday, April 08, 2007

Definitions for obviate

  1. to anticipate and prevent or eliminate (difficulties, disadvantages, etc.) by effective measures; render unnecessary: to obviate the risk of serious injury.

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Citations for obviate
Well, sir, to obviate the inquiries which would inevitably be set on foot, should Mr Fink-Nottle not present himself at Deverill Hall this evening, it would appear to be essential that a substitute, purporting to be Mr Fink-Nottle, should take his place. P. G. Wodehouse, The Mating Season, 1949
... as it had ever been abhorrent to my nature to ask for pecuniary assistance, I had early acquired habits of self-denying economy; husbanding my monthly allowance with anxious care, in order to obviate the danger of being forced, in some moment of future exigency, to beg additional aid. Charlotte Brontë, The Professor, 1857
Origin of obviate
1590-1600
Obviate can be traced back to the Latin verb obviāre, "to act contrary to," which in turn is derivative of obvius meaning "in the way, lying in the path." The common English term obvious once carried the meaning "being or standing in the way."