[ uhb-toos, -tyoos ]
See synonyms for: obtuseobtuselyobtuseness on Thesaurus.com

  1. not quick or alert in perception, feeling, or intellect; not sensitive or observant; dull.

  2. not sharp, acute, or pointed; blunt in form.

  1. (of a leaf, petal, etc.) rounded at the extremity.

  2. indistinctly felt or perceived, as pain or sound.

Origin of obtuse

First recorded in 1500–10; from Latin obtūsus “dulled,” past participle of obtundere, equivalent to ob- ob- + tūd-, variant stem of tundere “to beat” + -tus past participle suffix, with dt >s

Other words for obtuse

Other words from obtuse

  • ob·tuse·ly, adverb
  • ob·tuse·ness, noun
  • sub·ob·tuse, adjective
  • sub·ob·tuse·ly, adverb

Words that may be confused with obtuse

Words Nearby obtuse

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use obtuse in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for obtuse


/ (əbˈtjuːs) /

  1. mentally slow or emotionally insensitive

  2. maths

    • (of an angle) lying between 90° and 180°

    • (of a triangle) having one interior angle greater than 90°

  1. not sharp or pointed

  2. indistinctly felt, heard, etc; dull: obtuse pain

  3. (of a leaf or similar flat part) having a rounded or blunt tip

Origin of obtuse

C16: from Latin obtūsus dulled, past participle of obtundere to beat down; see obtund

Derived forms of obtuse

  • obtusely, adverb
  • obtuseness, noun

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