[uh-bleek, oh-bleek; Military uh-blahyk, oh-blahyk]
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  1. neither perpendicular nor parallel to a given line or surface; slanting; sloping.
  2. (of a solid) not having the axis perpendicular to the plane of the base.
  3. diverging from a given straight line or course.
  4. not straight or direct, as a course.
  5. indirectly stated or expressed; not straightforward: oblique remarks about the candidate's honesty.
  6. indirectly aimed at or reached, as ends or results; deviously achieved.
  7. morally, ethically, or mentally wrong; underhand; perverse.
  8. Typography. (of a letter) slanting toward the right, as a form of sans-serif, gothic, or square-serif type.
  9. Rhetoric. indirect (applied to discourse in which the original words of a speaker or writer are assimilated to the language of the reporter).
  10. Anatomy. pertaining to muscles running obliquely in the body as opposed to those running transversely or longitudinally.
  11. Botany. having unequal sides, as a leaf.
  12. Grammar. noting or pertaining to any case of noun inflection except nominative and vocative: Latin genitive, dative, accusative, and ablative cases are said to be oblique.
  13. Drafting. designating a method of projection (oblique projection) in which a three-dimensional object is represented by a drawing (oblique drawing) in which the face, usually parallel to the picture plane, is represented in accurate or exact proportion, and all other faces are shown at any convenient angle other than 90°.Compare axonometric, cabinet(def 19), isometric(def 5).
  1. Military. at an angle of 45°.
verb (used without object), o·bliqued, o·bliqu·ing.
  1. Military. to change direction obliquely.
  1. something that is oblique.
  2. Grammar. an oblique case.
  3. Anatomy. any of several oblique muscles, especially in the walls of the abdomen.

Origin of oblique

1400–50; late Middle English oblike < Latin oblīquus slanting; see ob- (second element obscure)
Related formso·blique·ness, nounsub·o·blique, adjectivesub·o·blique·ly, adverbsub·o·blique·ness, noun

Synonyms for oblique

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for oblique


  1. at an angle; slanting; sloping
  2. geometry
    1. (of lines, planes, etc) neither perpendicular nor parallel to one another or to another line, plane, etc
    2. not related to or containing a right angle
  3. indirect or evasive
  4. grammar denoting any case of nouns, pronouns, etc, other than the nominative and vocative
  5. biology having asymmetrical sides or planesan oblique leaf
  6. (of a map projection) constituting a type of zenithal projection in which the plane of projection is tangential to the earth's surface at some point between the equator and the poles
  1. something oblique, esp a line
  2. another name for solidus (def. 1)
  3. nautical the act of changing course by less than 90°
  4. an aerial photograph taken at an oblique angle
verb (intr)
  1. to take or have an oblique direction
  2. (of a military formation) to move forward at an angle
Derived Formsobliquely, adverbobliqueness, noun

Word Origin for oblique

C15: from Old French, from Latin oblīquus, of obscure origin
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 oblique

early 15c., from Middle French oblique (14c.) and directly from Latin obliquus "slanting, sidelong, indirect," from ob "against" (see ob-) + root of licinus "bent upward," from PIE root *lei- "to bend, be movable" (see limb (n.1)). As a type of muscles, in reference to the axis of the body, 1610s (adj.), 1800 (n.). Related: Obliquely; obliqueness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

oblique in Medicine


[ō-blēk, ə-blēk]
  1. Situated in a slanting position; not transverse or longitudinal.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.