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oblivion

[uh-bliv-ee-uh n]
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noun
  1. the state of being completely forgotten or unknown: a former movie star now in oblivion.
  2. the state of forgetting or of being oblivious: the oblivion of sleep.
  3. the act or process of dying out; complete annihilation or extinction: If we don't preserve their habitat, the entire species will pass into oblivion.
  4. Archaic. official disregard or overlooking of offenses; pardon; amnesty.
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Origin of oblivion

1350–1400; Middle English < Middle French < Latin oblīviōn- (stem of oblīviō), equivalent to oblīv(īscī) to forget + -iōn- -ion; see ob-
Related formsself-ob·liv·i·on, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for self-oblivion

Historical Examples

  • Birth, self-oblivion, was no longer the end of his dream-like existence.

    Cytherea

    Joseph Hergesheimer

  • I composed the opera with pleasure and self-oblivion; I shall orchestrate with delight; but to make an arrangement!

  • If I might venture upon a paradox, his personal references are instances of self-oblivion in the midst of self-consciousness.

  • England and Italy, with their countless helps to life and pleasure, are the lands for happiness and self-oblivion.


British Dictionary definitions for self-oblivion

oblivion

noun
  1. the condition of being forgotten or disregarded
  2. the state of being mentally withdrawn or blank
  3. law an intentional overlooking, esp of political offences; amnesty; pardon
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Word Origin

C14: via Old French from Latin oblīviō forgetfulness, from oblīviscī to forget
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 self-oblivion

oblivion

n.

late 14c., "state or fact of forgetting," from Old French oblivion (13c.) and directly from Latin oblivionem (nominative oblivio) "forgetfulness; a being forgotten," from oblivisci (past participle oblitus) "forget," originally "even out, smooth over, efface," from ob "over" (see ob-) + root of levis "smooth," from PIE *lei-w-, from root *(s)lei- "slime, slimy, sticky" (see slime (n.)). Meaning "state of being forgotten" is early 15c.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper