• synonyms


[ uh-bliv-ee-uh s ]
/ əˈblɪv i əs /


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.



Nearby words

obliterative, obliterative bronchitis, oblivescence, obliviate, oblivion, oblivious, oblong, oblongata, oblongly, obloquial, obloquy

Origin of oblivious

1400–50; late Middle English < Latin oblīviōsus forgetful, equivalent to oblīvī(scī) to for-get + -ōsus -ous
Related forms
Can be confusedoblivious obvious

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

Examples from the Web for self-oblivious

  • In all this manifold work which Mr. Mller did he was, to the last, self-oblivious.

    George Muller of Bristol|Arthur T. Pierson
  • The victor in the cause will give all the praise to the Judge, and he and his friends will unite in self-oblivious praise.

  • There was a self-oblivious kindness in his murmur as he refused a seat.

    John March, Southerner|George W. Cable
  • One curious instance of this self-oblivious immersion in the creations of his mind occurs to me.

    Nineteenth Century Questions|James Freeman Clarke

British Dictionary definitions for self-oblivious


/ (əˈblɪvɪəs) /


(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 self-oblivious



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