[ ob-vee-eyt ]
/ ˈɒb viˌeɪt /

verb (used with object), ob·vi·at·ed, ob·vi·at·ing.

to anticipate and prevent or eliminate (difficulties, disadvantages, etc.) by effective measures; render unnecessary: to obviate the risk of serious injury.

Nearby words

  1. obv,
  2. obverse,
  3. obversion,
  4. obvert,
  5. obviable,
  6. obviation,
  7. obvious,
  8. obviously,
  9. obvolute,
  10. obwalden

Origin of obviate

1590–1600; < Latin obviātus, past participle of obviāre to act contrary to, derivative of obvius; see obvious, -ate1

Related forms
Can be confusedameliorate obviate vitiate

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

British Dictionary definitions for obviation


/ (ˈɒbvɪˌeɪt) /


(tr) to avoid or prevent (a need or difficulty)
Derived Formsobviation, noun

Word Origin for obviate

C16: from Late Latin obviātus prevented, past participle of obviāre; see obvious


Only things that have not yet occurred can be obviated. For example, one can obviate a possible future difficulty, but not one that already exists

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 obviation
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper