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

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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British Dictionary definitions for oblique



at an angle; slanting; sloping
  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
indirect or evasive
grammar denoting any case of nouns, pronouns, etc, other than the nominative and vocative
biology having asymmetrical sides or planesan oblique leaf
(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


something oblique, esp a line
another name for solidus (def. 1)
nautical the act of changing course by less than 90°
an aerial photograph taken at an oblique angle

verb (intr)

to take or have an oblique direction
(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

Medicine definitions for oblique


[ō-blēk, ə-blēk]


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.