[uh-bliv-ee-uh s]


unmindful; unconscious; unaware (usually followed by of or to): She was oblivious of his admiration.
forgetful; without remembrance or memory: oblivious of my former failure.
Archaic. inducing forgetfulness.

Origin of oblivious

1400–50; late Middle English < Latin oblīviōsus forgetful, equivalent to oblīvī(scī) to for-get + -ōsus -ous
Related formsob·liv·i·ous·ly, adverbob·liv·i·ous·ness, nounself-ob·liv·i·ous, adjectivesem·i·ob·liv·i·ous, adjectivesem·i·ob·liv·i·ous·ly, adverbsem·i·ob·liv·i·ous·ness, nounun·ob·liv·i·ous, adjectiveun·ob·liv·i·ous·ly, adverbun·ob·liv·i·ous·ness, noun
Can be confusedoblivious obvious

Synonym study

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

Examples from the Web for obliviously

Historical Examples of obliviously

  • Seeing that he lingered there obliviously, she wished to regain her hold upon him.

    His Masterpiece

    Emile Zola

  • NOW I like a fool—a genuine fool, who is obliviously unconscious of the fact!


    Fanny Fern

  • "Come, children, dinner will be cold," said Mrs. Hewitt obliviously.

    The Wishing-Ring Man

    Margaret Widdemer

  • Was he after all not so obliviously content as he seemed in his fine new surroundings?

    Why Joan?

    Eleanor Mercein Kelly

  • "I wish I knew how to be sen-ten-tious," said Barbara, obliviously.

    John March, Southerner

    George W. Cable

British Dictionary definitions for obliviously



(foll by to or of) unaware or forgetful
Derived Formsobliviously, adverbobliviousness, noun


It was formerly considered incorrect to use oblivious to mean unaware, but this use is now acceptable
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 obliviously



mid-15c., from Latin obliviosus "forgetful, that easily forgets; producing forgetfulness," from oblivion (see oblivion). Meaning "unaware, unconscious (of something)" is from 1862, formerly regarded as erroneous, this is now the general meaning and the word has lost its original sense of "no longer aware or mindful." Properly should be used with to, not of. Related: Obliviously; obliviousness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper