[ ob-suh-les-uh nt ]
/ ˌɒb səˈlɛs ənt /


becoming obsolete; passing out of use, as a word: an obsolescent term.
becoming outdated or outmoded, as machinery or weapons.
Biology. gradually disappearing or imperfectly developed, as vestigial organs.


Nearby words

  1. obsidian dating,
  2. obsidional coin,
  3. obsolesc.,
  4. obsolesce,
  5. obsolescence,
  6. obsolete,
  7. obstacle,
  8. obstacle course,
  9. obstacle race,
  10. obstet.

Origin of obsolescent

First recorded in 1745–55, obsolescent is from the Latin word obsolēscent- (stem of obsolēscēns, present participle of obsolēscere to fall into disuse). See obsolete, -escent

Related formsob·so·les·cent·ly, adverb

Can be confusedarchaic obsolescent obsoleteobsolescent obsolete

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

Examples from the Web for obsolescent

British Dictionary definitions for obsolescent


/ (ˌɒbsəˈlɛsənt) /


becoming obsolete or out of date
Derived Formsobsolescence, nounobsolescently, adverb

Word Origin for obsolescent

C18: from Latin obsolescere; see obsolete

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 obsolescent



1755, from Latin obsolescentum (nominative obsolescens), present participle of obsolescere "fall into disuse" (see obsolete).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper