[ oh-bich-oo-er-ee ]
/ oʊˈbɪtʃ uˌɛr i /

noun, plural o·bit·u·ar·ies.

a notice of the death of a person, often with a biographical sketch, as in a newspaper.


of, relating to, or recording a death or deaths: the obituary page of a newspaper.

Origin of obituary

1700–10; < Medieval Latin obituārius, equivalent to Latin obitu(s) death (see obit) + -ārius -ary
Related formso·bit·u·ar·ist, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for obituarist

  • Should the future obituarist of Donald Rumsfeld describe the Iraq war as a triumph to spare the feelings of the Rumsfeld family?

British Dictionary definitions for obituarist


/ (əˈbɪtjʊərɪ) /

noun plural -aries

a published announcement of a death, often accompanied by a short biography of the dead person
Derived Formsobituarist, noun

Word Origin for obituary

C18: from Medieval Latin obituārius, from Latin obīre to fall, from ob- down + īre to go
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 obituarist



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."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper